WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The weather is colder, the forecast is predicting snow, which means the holiday season is just about here.
What would that season be without the Oglebay Festival of Lights?
It officially opens to families Thursday night, but if you think you’ve seen all that Oglebay has to offer during the holidays, think again.
Many of us in Wheeling we can’t imagine this holiday season without Festival of Lights.Eriks Janelsins, Oglebay Foundation President & CEO
It’s a tradition that never gets old, children smiling, their faces lit up in the glow of Oglebay’s Festival of Lights.
Lots of other light shows in the region have come and gone, but the Festival of Lights here at Oglebay has just grown and gotten bigger and bigger and it’s because it’s been about the community. It’s been about the total experience. It’s about families being together and coming to dinner at the lodge or staying in the cottage. Those really those holiday memories we all cherish.Eriks Janelsins, Oglebay Foundation President & CEO
Festival of Lights features six miles of lights with 90 displays.
Last year more than 60,000 cars and tens of thousands of people passed through. This year, they expect even more.
We have an entire staff who just works all year taking it down. As soon as they have it taken down they repair all the lights, come up with new displays and start putting them all up again. It’s a year-round venture for us.David Lindelow, Wheeling Park Commission President & CEO
This year visitors can once again view the lights through the 3-D Sleigh Bans glasses, which transform the twinkle into holiday shapes.
This is fun. The children love it. Children of all ages love it. We see them going all over the park with their 3-D glasses on and they really enjoy it.David Lindelow, Wheeling Park Commission President & CEO
But, that’s not all.
There’s a new choreographed music and light extravaganza at the zoo, which will be fun for everyone.David Lindelow, Wheeling Park Commission President & CEO
It’s much more than just driving through the lights. This year Oglebay is debuting the new “Frosted Hilltop” where you can take a frosty wagon ride or relax and make smores at the Ice Lounge at the Garden Bistro.
It’ll be a fun place to stop on your trip through the park um to get the kids out of the car, walk around, look at the shops, get a hot chocolate.”)David Lindelow, Wheeling Park Commission President & CEO
For Oglebay, it’s much more than the hustle and bustle of the attractions and the shining lights. It’s the 34 years of tradition, creating family time and irreplaceable memories.
Grandmas and grandkids, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, everyone together. It’s a really special time in the park.Eriks Janelsins, Oglebay Foundation President & CEO
The Festival of Lights will run each night until January 5th.
Flipping the switch to open this year’s festivities were Jeremy West and Bernie Twigg from WesBanco.
Oglebay knows many people are concerned about how the I-70 construction will impact the Festival of Lights traffic. Officials say the DOH, contractors and engineers involved have agreed not to do highway work or have construction delays on Saturdays or Sundays during the Festival of Lights.
However, there could still be lane closures or traffic pattern changes, but it won’t be an active work zone, which they feel should help with traffic flow.
For more information on hours, prices, and all the Festival of Lights activities, click here.