Holiday lights, leg lamp to shine around state

Jessica Lane | Express-Star

The Chickasha Leg Lamp was lit up Nov. 5 during the grand opening of the city's downtown park.

The Christmas spirit is shining bright across the region with various tours of twinkling lights, animated displays, and one very large leg lamp.

At Honor Heights Park in Muskogee, the Garden of Lights event will open on Thanksgiving Day and runs through New Year's Day. Rick Ewing, Parks assistant director, described the tour.

"[The Garden of Lights is] a wonderland of well over one million lights through which you drive and listen to the GOL radio 105.9. The lights portray the park's plants, animals, and visitors on any given day," said Ewing.

Ewing said the lights are expertly arranged to enhance the beauty of the park's gardens, lakes, trees, and waterfalls.

"You can take a stroll around the light-draped lakes or visit the Garden of Lights concession for a hot chocolate, coffee, or snack," he said. "You can also reserve a hayride through the park."

The Garden of Lights is open 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Visitors pay as they enter the park, with $5 admission for cars and $10 admission for 10-plus passenger vans.

Other holiday events are scheduled for Depot Green in downtown Muskogee.

"At Depot Green, you can experience many events at this beautifully lit location," said Ewing. "Our Lights On party will be Dec. 1. [There are] of activities for the family, including train rides on the P&R Railroad."

Train rides will occur through Christmas every Thursday through Sunday beginning at 5:30 p.m.

"A Pop-Up Christmas Market will ornament Depot Green on Dec. 3 and 17," said Ewing. "Reindeer Roundup happens on Dec. 11, 4:30-8 p.m. Come meet some of Santa's team up close and personal."

Ewing said most of these events are free. For ticketed events, those can purchased on site at time of visit.

The Castle of Muskogee's Castle Christmas will have a Drive-Thru Holiday Light Display every night from 5:30-9 p.m. from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve.

"On select nights, [there will be] pony rides, camel rides, train rides and old-fashioned hayrides," said of Sarah Gile of Digital Communications. "It's approximately a 1.5-mile loop through the Castle Village. There is no charge; however, donations are encouraged."

At Castle Christmas, Gile said guests can also shop inside for holiday decor.

"There are also local merchants selling handmade wares, which make wonderful gifts for the family members in your life," she said. "We show holiday movies in Chalice Hall [where] guests are encouraged to warm up by the fire and enjoy their holiday favorites."

Giles said there will be an ornament-making station in the Great Hall.

"There is also Rudolph's Cafe, which serves dinner and dessert options, including hot cocoa and beverage options for the adults," she said.

The Castle also offers fireworks sales for New Years Eve from Dec. 15 through New Year's Eve.

In Bartlesville, Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve's Wonderland of Lights will feature over 750,000 lights across the grounds and building of the ranch. The lights will be turned on Friday, Nov. 25, available for viewing every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 5-9 p.m. through Dec. 18.

Admission is not sold in advance and is $6 for adults, $1 for children 12 and under, and free for members and children three and under.

For those willing to drive farther, this year marks the 30th annual Festival of Light in Chickasha. This walk- or drive-thru light display is open nightly from the Saturday before Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve -- Sunday through Thursday from 6-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6-11 p.m.

Chickasha visitors can also check out the Chickasha Leg Lamp at the city's downtown park. The 50-foot lamp statue -- a reference to the classic holiday film "A Christmas Story" -- was lit up at the park's grand opening on Nov. 5.

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