9 mountain lights festivals to spark your holiday spirit
There may be some debate whether holiday decorations should go up before or after Thanksgiving, but there is no argument that twinkling lights help spark a festive mood.
The Mountain State is the perfect backdrop for holiday light displays large and small. Here are 9 light festivals guaranteed to spark your seasonal spirits:
1. Winter Festival of Lights
The Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling is one of the nation’s largest, spanning 300 acres along a 6-mile drive. The festival’s 80 displays include a 300-foot-long Rainbow Tunnel, Peanuts characters and Cinderella. 150 shimmering hanging baskets float overhead in the The Gardens of Light tour at the Mansion Museum, lighting your entry to the Christmas Tree Garden.
Even the Good Zoo gets into the spirit with a dazzling show of more than 35,500 LED lights choreographed to holiday music. The lights festival has been recognized by the American Bus Association as a top travel destination, and also has been featured on the Travel Channel’s “Extreme Christmas Celebrations.”
2. Holiday of Lights
Holiday of Lights, featuring more than 700,000 lights covering 40 acres at Bluefield City Park, is billed as one of the largest light shows in the two Virginias. Every year, new pieces are added, and the legacy lights get an updated look. Plan around special events like a 5K race, hayrides with Santa, trolley rides through the park and more.
3. Christmas in the Park
Chief Logan State Park
Christmas in the Park showcases hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights on a 2- to 3-mile drive through Chief Logan State Park. The kids can visit with the Jolly Old Elf in Santa Land, too.
4. Celebration of Lights
Fairmont’s Celebration of Lights features 1.3 miles of dazzling Christmas displays at Morris Park. Take in the stillness of the snowy winter nights with special walker’s nights.
5. Christmas Fantasy Light Show
Krodel Park’s annual drive-through Christmas Fantasy Light Show features unique animated light displays of seasonal favorites like Santa’s workshop, gingerbread men and angels, sprinkled with local folklore, like Point Pleasant’s famous Mothman. New displays are added each year.
6. Yuletide in the Park
The drive-through animated lights display at Yuletide in the Park at Valley Park in Hurricane and has beautiful lights in festive themes.
7. Old Time Christmas at Welton Park
Enjoy Old Time Christmas with horse-drawn sleigh rides, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, beautiful enchanting lights, carolers, story time and hot cocoa! On select evenings, you can arrive by the Snowflake Express train, which departs from the South Side Depot.
8. Lacy’s Lights and Maples Display
Fayette County Park
Lacy’s Lights and Maples Display at Fayette County Park in Beckwith is one of the area’s longest-running holiday celebrations. What began as the combined displays of 2 local families has blossomed into 300,000 lights covering the majority of the park. You can wander this winter wonderland by foot or motorized vehicle.
9. Holiday in the Park
Parkersburg’s annual Holiday in the Park links 2 city parks – Parkersburg City Park and Southwood Park – in this festive drive-through exhibit featuring animated and stationary light displays from a golfing Santa to a lake monster. Enjoy the beauty with a quaint carriage ride on the weekends.
What light festivals have you visited?
This post was last updated on December 17, 2018