Ardmore, OK – One of the state’s premier holiday destinations, the Festival of Lights Christmas Drive-    Thru in Regional Park, is now open for evening viewing of over 125 exciting displays. The lights cover a 1.5 mile drive in the Park and thrill over 80,000 locals and visitors each year during the holiday season.

 

Traditionally, the lights open to the public the Saturday night before Thanksgiving, right after the Chigger Chase is run under the Christmas Lights. The Chigger Chase is another long-standing holiday tradition benefitting the Regional Park & Trail Development and the Family Shelter.

 

Regular hours for the Drive-Thru are Fridays and Saturdays 6pm-11pm and Sundays through Thursdays 6pm-10pm.   The Festival of Lights Christmas Drive-Thru will be open through Friday, December 30. Admission is free, however contributions are greatly appreciated.

 

The Ardmore Parks and Recreation Department hosts a special Santa’s Workshop on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3 which is open to the public and free admission. Children can complete three crafts and listen to story time around the campfire every 30 minutes. Homemade treats and pictures with Santa are available for a nominal fee. Santa’s Workshop is also accepting new toys for Toys for Tots.

 

The Festival of Lights Christmas Drive-Thru is the result of a strong Public/Private partnership between the City of Ardmore Parks and Recreation Department, the Ardmore Regional Park Board, the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Ardmore Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and a large number of businesses in the community. While the organizations setup and maintain the displays, purchase new displays, conduct the fundraising auction, coordinate Santa’s Workshop and volunteer schedules, the private businesses generously contribute to the auction and purchase sponsorships of individual displays. The sponsorships provide businesses visibility to the 80,000 visitors each year.

 

The Festival of Lights also extends a helping hand to many local charities. Non-profit groups earn a portion of the nightly contributions by volunteering at the entrance and exit gates. Approximately $10,000 is distributed to over 15 local organizations such as the March of Dimes, CASA and the Children’s Shelter to name a few with the remaining proceeds supporting the Christmas Drive-Thru.

Since a part of the Drive-Thru is visible from I-35, many visitors from throughout the nation stop in Ardmore to enjoy the lights. The Ardmore Convention & Visitors Bureau markets the Festival of Lights Drive- Thru within Oklahoma and North Texas attracting tour bus groups and providing “step-on” tours.

For more information on the Festival of Lights Christmas Drive-Thru, contact the Parks and Recreation office at 223-4844 or the Ardmore Chamber at 223-7765.