Festival of Light Celebrates 30 Years (Photo Essay)

A far away shot showcases the beauty of Chickasha’s Festival of Light. A few main attractions include the Ferris Wheel and large Christmas tree made of lights.

Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief

Chickasha has made a name for itself for its annual Festival of Light. This festival celebrates its 30th year, and to celebrate a new section of lights were added to form the “Frozen Forest,” which was unveiled this year.

The Festival of Light’s official Facebook page says that it all began in 1992 when a small group of citizens wanted to celebrate the season and spread holiday spirit throughout the community. Eventually, the Festival of Light became a nationally recognized Christmas light display.

“Virtually every citizen can enjoy and fell a part of this magnificent event,” said Chickasha Festival of Light’s Facebook page.

The Festival of Light transforms Shannon Springs Park, which spans 43 acres. This annual light display is a volunteer-based non-profit organization that wants to promote goodwill and community spirit. One of the goals of this organization is to promote the view of “Christmas through the eyes of child,” which has been the case for three decades.

The park calls in people of all ages to enjoy the various light displays, including holiday messages, animated figures made of lights, and more. An iconic piece of Chickasha’s lights includes the massive golden tree on the east side of the park. The tree can be spotted from the turnpike and spreads Christmas joy to all who see it. One of the most photographed areas included the bridge, that travels east to west. It stops people in their tracks to stare in awe at the lights that cover almost every inch of the bridge.

In recent years, Chickasha has added a shuttle for people who want to park downtown to avoid the heavy traffic surrounding the lights. The shuttles cost $2 a person and runs from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Other family-friendly events include carriage and camel rides, ice skating, the Ferris Wheel, and a carousel.  Carriage rides run Thursday through Sunday for $10 a person, and it is encouraged to bring your own blanket. Camel rides also run Thursday through Sunday for $8 per person. Another favorite includes the ice-skating rink, which is located at the base of the Ferris Wheel. If you bring your own skates, its $8, but for those who need to rent skates it costs $12 per person. The Ferris Wheel and carousel costs $5 per person. The Ferris Wheel gives participants an unbelievable view of the winter wonderland below them.

The Festival of Lights will be open until December 31st, so make sure to make time this holiday season to enjoy the beautiful sights at Shannon Springs park.

Emily Loughridge is a second-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.