Festival of Lights opens Nov. 25 at Rocky Ridge Park
The half mile walking trail features 500,000 Christmas lights, holiday scenes and five enclosed heated pavilions. The spirit of the holiday season is captured using animation, displays, Santa Claus, food and a G-gauge train display. The trail sits among a mature oak forest nestled on a quiet mountaintop.
Times are 6-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 5-9 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.
The cost is $8 for adults; $7 for seniors ages 60 and older; $6 for children ages 4-12. Group rates are available.
History: Christmas Magic is in its 28th year. It began in 1984, the product of the “energy crunch,” when fewer homes were decorating, yet there was still a desire to see Christmas lights locally. In 1984 a small budget allowed for 10,000 lights and props, most produced by the Parks Department. Today, the props are produced commercially and “in-house.” This is the largest program presented by the York County Department of Parks and Recreation each year.
Lights: In 2011, over 500,000 lights will greet Park visitors. Since 2006, LED mini lights and C-7 bulbs have been introduced to the trail to conserve electric. This year, the trail will be composed of about 66% LED lights. The LED mini lights save about 80% on the wattage while the LED C-7 bulbs save about 33% wattage. Rope lighting and other special lighting will also be used.
Christmas Magic Neat Facts:
– It takes about 6,000 hours to set up, run and disassemble Christmas Magic.
– The largest attendance occurred in 2006 with a total of 41,272 visitors.
– In 2010, the trail was closed 5 of the scheduled 37 nights due to inclement weather, but the nightly average attendance was 1099 visitors.
– Nearly 2700 hours of volunteer time was accumulated at the 2010 event.
– In 2010, the Ranger Food Drive generated 1,850 pounds of canned goods.
– In 2010, 37 civic organizations and businesses decorated trees inside the buildings.
Ranger Food Drive: Visitors are encouraged to bring a canned good to Christmas Magic to donate to the York County Parks Ranger Food Drive. The donated items will be presented to York County Food Bank at the end of the program.
Toys for Tots Nights: For the third year, the York County Parks is partnering with Toys for Tots. On Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26, anyone bringing a new toy still in the box or container and donating it to the Toys for Tots will receive a “Buy One Get One Free” admission into the event.
Pet Night: On Wednesday, Dec. 7, pet owners are invited to bring their pets to the event and have their picture taken with Santa Claus. Members of the Friends of Canine Meadows will be present to process the picture and place it in a frame for $5 a picture. Regular admissions apply. This is the only night that non-essential animals are allowed at the event.
Gingerbread Contest: The totally-edible structures will be on display Dec. 14-31. The structures must be delivered to the park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14. There are three categories: child, adult and group/commercial. To register your gingerbread , call Jeri Jones at (717) 840-7226 or email JLJones@york-county.org and leave your name, telephone number, email address and category.