Nathaniel Pierce, Staff Writer~
Lynchburg Parks and Recreation will host their second annual Celebration of Lights at Riverside Park from Dec. 1, 2017 through Jan. 1, 2018. The park will be open nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. This event is free for everyone to attend and is a drive-through event.
The Celebration of Lights this year is themed “Lynchburg Winter Wonderland.” The park will be decorated by local businesses, schools and organizations who have submitted light displays that represent the “beautiful Hill City,” according to the Celebration of Lights Facebook page.
Rachel Nester, a community research programmer with the Lynchburg Parks and Recreation department, said that the idea this year is “to blend the wonder of the holiday season with the rich history of Lynchburg.” Nester said that the community members have done “an excellent job of portraying details that point toward Lynchburg’s past.” She also acknowledged the maintenance crew at Riverside Park, she said they “spent great amounts of time and energy creating a 60’s train that includes many of the details of Lynchburg.”
Nester said the best part about Lynchburg’s Celebration of lights is “seeing the wonder on the viewer’s faces when they see the park completely lit.” Everyone in the parks and recreation staff, and the residents of Lynchburg and the surrounding counties, find joy in the celebration.
Along with the drive-through light show, there are four special-event nights planned throughout the month of December. On Dec. 1, there was a Grand Opening celebration which included festive music and food trucks.
On Dec. 7, there will be Pedestrian Night, which will give Lynchburg residents the opportunity to walk through the park and observe the decorations. On Dec. 14 the celebration continues with a “Glow Ride,” according to the Facebook page, which will allow cyclists to ride through with tacky lights on their bikes. Dec. 21 will bring a night of hot chocolate and carriage rides, provided courtesy of the Lexington Carriage Company. The carriage rides will be $6 and will include a cup of hot chocolate. The Lynchburg Parks and Recreation department suggests that community members “sink into the experience.”
More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.