The official start to the Christmas season began Thursday night with the kick-off of Oglebay’s Festival of Lights, presented by WesBanco.

Many have traveled all over to join in on this 38-year holiday tradition.

Here is a look at some of those displays that light up families from the Ohio Valley and beyond.

The nationally recognized light display covers over 300 acres of Oglebay and has become one of the largest holiday light shows in the country.

Visitors can enjoy more than 100 lighted displays during a six-mile drive through the park.

And the entire event is steeped in tradition.

“We have families who’ve been coming all the time, all 38 years, and enjoying it as a family getaway. And we have all kinds of packages and things like that. People can do and have a great time while they’re here as a family.”

Herb Faulkenberry – Oglebay Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Even as guests step inside Wilson Lodge, they can’t help but feel the spirit of Christmas all around them.

Every inch is covered in lights or decorations that make the entire resort sparkle.

The lighting up of the season embarks on many lasting memories for families and friends.

“We’ll do close to 300,000 people through the park during the period of festival of lights. That’s still a lot of people coming through, seeing everything that’s going on here, visiting the city of Wheeling and the community at large.”

Herb Faulkenberry – Oglebay Vice President of Sales & Marketing

This year, Oglebay’s new attraction is at the Levinson Shelter.

The Winter Carnival Area includes an ice skating rink!

“You can rent skates there. You can really get the winter experience, Christmas experience, if you will. And who knows, maybe snow.”

Herb Faulkenberry – Oglebay Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Of course, they still have the large crowd-pleasers!

A big one is Schenk Lake itself and the Levinson shelter tunnel leading to the lake.

And, of course, you can always listen to the sounds of the season at specific locations along the tour.

“Well that itself is a really good experience as you enter the Schenk Lake area and then around Schenk Lake, we have the dancing candy canes and the orb in the middle of the lake.
Brand new facility, brand new look. Last year, Andy Brown did a great job choreographing that and getting it all set up. And it’s really something.”

Herb Faulkenberry – Oglebay Vice President of Sales & Marketing

You can check out all the activities Oglebay has to offer on their website, Oglebay.com.

The festival of lights runs through January 7 from dusk till midnight.