Who says the winter has to be dark and gloomy? Out in Gaithersburg, winter lights will be shining bright up through New Year’s Day during the Annual Winter Lights Festival. Now it its fifteenth year, the Winter Lights Festival is continuing to attract visitors nightly, on Tuesdays through Sundays. Every year, displays and features grow.
Guests are invited to drive through a 3.5 mile path, in Seneca Creek Park, adorned with lights, moving displays and Christmas magic. More than 380 illuminated vignettes make up the pathway as well as 65 animated displays.
Along the pathway, the displays are categorized into multiple themes. Featured areas include: the North Pole, Teddy Bear Land, Penguin Cove, Winter Woods Toyland and a Victorian Village.
New this year, guests are invited to see displays as never before—with holographic viewing glasses. For the cost of just $2 a pair and $5 for three pairs, passengers along the ride can wear glasses while viewing displays for an optimized, 3-D-like experience. Note that these glasses are only available for passengers and are not to be worn by drivers.
All proceeds from Winter Lights go towards local charities. Those benefited from the event include: Friends of Seneca Creek State Park, the Gaithersburg Community Volunteer Soup Kitchen, Gaithersburg HELP, the Dolores Swoyer Camp Scholarship Fund, the Gaithersburg Holiday Giving Program and the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Winter Lights shine Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. on to 10 p.m. Weeknight costs are $12 per car and $15 per car on weekends. The lights do not come out on Mondays nor on Christmas Day.
Sponsors to Winter Lights include: The Gazette Newspapers, Hughes Network Systems, Comcast, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Montgomery Life Magazine, Premier Values Magazine, MedImmune, MIX 107.3, OBA Bank, Washingtonian Center, Washington Parent Magazine and New Tang Dynasty TV-DC & The Epoch Times-DC.
Seneca Creek State Park is located at 11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg. For more information on this event, call 301-258-6350 or visit www.gaithersburgmd.gov/winterlights.