Starting this week, carloads of families and friends will have the opportunity to experience a Christmas tradition that has been a staple of Elizabethtown for more than three decades.
Returning for its 31st year, the Christmas in the Park light display at Freeman Lake Park is set to open to the public Wednesday night. The display will be open nightly from 6 to 11 p.m. until Jan. 1.
According to City Events Coordinator Sarah Vaughn, Christmas in the Park visitors will be able to enjoy over 100 holiday displays from the safety and warmth of their cars this year.
“We have a few vendors that updated and upgraded, so folks will be excited to see the new things out this year, along with some traditional displays that we’ve grown to love over the years,” Vaughn said.
According to the City of Elizabethtown’s website, more than 80,000 vehicles pass through Christmas in the Park each year. Vaughn said because attendance is typically very high on the weekends, she said visitors may consider enjoying the display on a weeknight.
When driving through Christmas in the Park, motorists are asked to turn off their headlights when prompted by the posted sign, tune into the posted radio station and slowly drive through the park. Visitors are asked not to pull their vehicle off the side or exit their vehicle while driving though.
Vaughn said the city’s Parks and Recreation department, along with the city’s Events Department and the local business owners who put time into putting up their displays, are what make the event possible each year.
“From nativity scenes to Santa on a treadmill, Christmas in the Park gives each person, young and old, something to smile about,” she said.
While Christmas in the Park is free and open to the public, donations will be accepted and appreciated, Vaughn said. All donations go toward paying for electricity expenses and upgrades to next year’s display.
“I hope that this year’s display provides that warm fuzzy feelings we hope to feel during Christmas,” Vaughn said. “I hope that everyone understands that the purpose of Christmas in the Park is for businesses and the city to wish the community a merry Christmas.”
Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1413 or email@example.com.