Longer route through Fantasy of Lights proves popular

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Lorrie Cecil | ThisWeek file photo The 13th Annual Fantasy of Lights at 2911 S. Old State Road. The display opened Nov. 16 and runs through Jan. 1. A portion of the entrance fee will benefit Recreation Unlimited.

The colorful, festive displays at the Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights will return to the Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds this year by popular demand, organizers said.

Last year the drive-through attraction, which features more than 130 large, outdoor light displays, moved from the Alum Creek Marina to a lengthier route at the campgrounds – and organizer Steve Cross said the new location was a big hit.

The new route is 3 miles long, compared with the 2-mile Marina route, giving viewers more time to relax and take in the dazzling lights.

“Everybody just loved it,” Cross said. “Before, you’d come around a curve and you just saw a whole mob of lights. You couldn’t quite make everything out.”

“Now you have a little more time and space to enjoy yourself.”

The 13th Annual Fantasy of Lights opened Nov. 16 and runs through Jan. 1 at the park, 2911 S. Old State Road in Delaware.

The main attraction will be open from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and from 5:30-10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The attraction also features a Santa House with cookies, refreshments and Saint Nick himself inside the Cross Creek Camping Resort, 3190 S. Old State Road.

Last year more than 14,500 vehicles drove through the attraction.

And this year it will feature more lights than ever before with new displays including a buggy with animated horses pulling Santa, and a colorful poinsettia arch.

The range of displays includes a dinosaur with a wagging tail, an animated Jack-in-the-box and the usual fan-favorite: a massive 185 foot long, 35 foot tall village scene.

“People love the village scene because it’s so big and beautiful,” Cross aid.

“The other really popular one spells out ‘peace’ with two big silver bells on the end. It’s just a beautiful display.”

Viewers also will drive through two flashing-light tunnels that arch over the roadway.

Families can stop into the Santa House afterward for cookies, candy, hot chocolate, soda and a visit with Santa Claus.

Nervous kids can sit on a reindeer beside Santa instead of sitting on his lap if they want, Cross said.

It’s free to meet with Santa but pictures cost $5. He will appear during the Fantasy of Lights open hours Nov. 16-Dec. 23.

All proceeds from the photos with Santa and a portion of the gate admissions benefit Recreation Unlimited, a nonprofit organization that serves youth and adults with physical and mental disabilities.

It costs $10 per car to drive through the Fantasy of Lights Monday through Thursday, and $15 on Fridays, weekends and Dec. 17-25.