Katherine Daniel ~ Editor in Chief

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The third annual Celebration of Lights at Riverside Park will start on December 7th at 5:00 p.m. This event will run from December 7th to December 31st.  

According to the Celebration of Lights at Riverside Park Facebook event, “Join Lynchburg Parks and Recreation as we light up RIVERSIDE PARK, 2238 Rivermont Avenue, for the third annual Celebration of Lights! This FREE, family-friendly attraction will open nightly from 5:00pm–9:00pm, December 7–31, 2018, and will include light displays from various Lynchburg businesses and organizations as you drive through Riverside Park. Lynchburg businesses, schools, and organizations are all encouraged to submit a light display that represents our beautiful Hill City. This is a drive-through event, with exception of the specialty event nights on 12/14, and 12/20.”

Rachel Smith, the Community Recreation Programmer, said, “The community has taken to the event enthusiastically. Many organizations or individuals place displays in the park, and hundreds of people drive through the park during the month of December. We especially love the special event nights (12/7 – Grand Opening, 12/14 – Pedestrian Night, and 12/20 – Carriage Ride Night) because it gives us at Parks and Recreation the opportunity to connect and interact with the patrons of Lynchburg, and to see the excitement and joy that the lit park brings to people during the holidays.”

Smith added, “This event is very near and dear to my heart. This was my first project and large-scale event that I took on during my first year at Lynchburg Parks and Rec, and it soon became one of the biggest parts of my year. I begin planning for Celebration of Light’s in early February. I love the holiday season, and I truly believe that the holidays can bring people together in a way that just isn’t achieved during the rest of the busy year. I love being able to bring a little extra magic to the City of Lynchburg during the Holiday season.”

There will be hot cocoa, s’mores, and dog treats given away for free during Pedestrian Night, courtesy of Parks and Recreation. On Carriage Ride Night, there will be hot cocoa and cookies given away for free, courtesy of Essex Bank, along with free pictures with Santa.

According to the New in Lynchburg website, “There will be three special event nights. On December 7th, the Celebration of Lights will kick off with a Grand Opening celebration, while Parks and Recreation staff distributes holiday wishes to the riders. December 14th is Pedestrian Night allowing the community to walk through Riverside Park and slowly take in the ambiance of lit displays. December 20th is a magical night with carriage rides hosted by Lexington Carriage Company, horses, and hot cocoa. Sip on a cup of hot chocolate, and sink into the experience.”

According to the New in Lynchburg website, “Carriage rides will be offered on a first come, first serve basis. Register in advance to ensure you get a seat! To register, click the link below. https://webapps.lynchburgva.gov/registration/ViewCourseActivityDetails.aspx?id=C4861. December 20th is a magical night featuring hot cocoa, horses, and carriage rides from Lexington Carriage Company. Rides are $6 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance on our website or at any of the community centers. Rides are provided on a first come first serve basis, and check-in closes at 9:30pm. As you show up please check in at the Parks & Recreation tent. Upon check-in each rider will receive a number in the queue system and your number will be called when it’s your turn to ride. While waiting, participants can enjoy refreshments, play games, and get warm by the fire.”

For more information about this event go to https://www.facebook.com/events/333188137445140/ or https://www.newinlynchburg.com/events/#event=18681918