Holiday lights around the region (Nov. 26-Jan. 4)

November 24, 2008

The loveliest holiday lights displays are literally months’ worth of work for the crews who string them — at Fort Zumwalt Park in O’Fallon, Mo., for example, vehicular traffic was banned after Oct. 13 so the Celebration of Lights display could be installed safely. Likewise, the volunteer “Grandpa Gang” at Rock Spring Park in Alton sent out an SOS for younger volunteers to help put up the 3 million-plus lights in its Christmas Wonderland.

When I start to get Scroogy about light displays that charge admission, I have to stop and remember just how much time and cost (electricity rates alone!!) go into them. And here, without further ado, are a few of my picks for the coming season’s windshield tours:

  • Celebration of Lights, Fort Zumwalt Park, O’Fallon, Mo. (at Veterans Memorial Parkway and Jessup Lane), from Nov. 28 to Dec. 30. Admission is $9 for cars (Tuesdays cost only $7) and you get a dollar off if you bring a canned food donation. Closed Mondays. Walk-through night is Dec. 9, when the display opens at 6 p.m. (normal opening time is 6:30 p.m.) Info at 636.379.5614.
  • Christmas Wonderland, Rock Spring Park, Alton, Ill. from Nov. 28 to Dec. 28.  Admission is $7 per car; walk-through night is Dec. 1, when admission is $1 per person (children 10 and under are free). The display opens at 6 p.m. weeknights and 5 p.m. weekends. Info at 800.258.6645.
  • Winter Wonderland, Tilles Park, Clayton, from Nov. 26 (yes, the day before Thanksgiving!) to Jan. 4. Admission is $9 per car (note that this fee is paid upon exiting), and the park is open Sunday through Friday starting at 5:30 p.m.

And I just have to put in a little plug here for one of last year’s destinations on this blog, the neighborhood holiday lights display along Murdoch Avenue in South City just west of Donovan.

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