Lights, camera, holiday action!


"Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights" by bnhsu is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

There are many different displays visible at the Tanglewood Festival of Lights. They differ in shapes, sizes, colors, objects, and much more!

Leah Boone, Co Editor-in-Chief

The Tanglewood Festival of Lights used to be my family’s annual tradition every December, and I remember being absolutely ecstatic every year when the time came to go. I have not been since I was around 12 years old, but I went with a friend this year.

First things first, it was not at all where I remember it being. That is probably just me having no sense of direction whatsoever, but it still made it extremely confusing and disorienting. 

After entering before we paid, there were multiple light-up displays to entertain us before we entered the actual exhibit, such as a large Christmas tree, Santa Claus and a couple penguins. 

I went on a Tuesday night, so while it was not as crowded as it is on weekends, we still waited to pay for around half an hour. However, with there being displays alongside the waiting road, it made it a lot more bearable.

There are signs throughout the exhibit telling those who drive through it to tune into 99.5, a radio station that I turn on every holiday season to enjoy holiday music. Having the festive tunes definitely improved the experience.

As we sat in the line to pay, I was thinking about the excitement I felt when my family used to go and how it always felt so magical. I did not really remember any of the displays because I had not been in years, so I was ecstatic to experience it again.

Because of COVID-19, the Gift Village and S’moresville are closed, Santa was not present, and the hayrides were split into family-only rides. While to some people these cancellations caused some of the magic to disappear, I disagree. I had never done any of the things that were not open, so these closings did not differ my experience in any way. 

However, even though the closings did not dim the magic, the magic was still dimmed. For me, the Festival of Lights is one of those things that is a lot more exciting when you are seven than when you are 17. This realization was slightly disappointing; nobody likes growing up to the point where things become less exciting.

Do not get me wrong, I still found the displays gorgeous and I still had fun, but it was not the same. When I was younger, I was amazed at how many lights there were, the different colors and displays as well as not really understanding how it worked. 

This time around, contrarily, I understood exactly how it worked and was mostly concerned about how much energy the festival uses and how detrimental to the environment it could be.

Now, all this being said, the magic was still there, just not as prominent. This holiday season, it is especially important to find every possible thing to bring joy and holiday magic. 

The Festival of Lights has been a fan favorite for years now, attracting citizens from all over the state, and with good reason. Regardless of if the magic dimmed a little, the lights still brought joy, happy memories and a nice sense of holiday normalcy that everyone needs. 

If you can this year before it closes, stop for hot chocolate, wear your holiday pajamas and go to the festival with your loved ones. Happy Holidays from everyone at the Reagan Rooster!