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Oglebay Park turns on the Festival of Lights

The Oglebay Park Winter Festival of Lights in Wheeling is among the largest Christmas light displays in the country where families can enjoy a safe, socially distant excursion during the holidays. (Photo Provided)

WHEELING — Oglebay Park’s 35th annual Winter Festival of Lights “Sounds of the Season” is open for the yuletide season.

This year’s show is an opportunity to do something fun while being socially distanced from the crowds, Oglebay Senior Vice President Rod Haley said.

People can do as little or as much as they want, he said.

“One of the things we tell everybody is, the Festival of Lights is the perfect social distancing event if you want it to be,” Haley said. “You just get in your own car and you drive through the lights and you can be secluded as you want, or you can certainly get out and visit the shops and visit the activities center already set up for social distancing.”

The biggest attraction of the festival this year is the addition of the “Sounds of the Season.” he said.

The annual Winter of Festival of Lights at Oglebay Park in Wheeling runs through Jan. 10. (Photo Provided)

Speakers have been placed along side 12 of the most popular displays at the park, providing visitors the opportunity to hear music coordinated with the lights, Haley said.

“This year, we’re highlighting the power of music,” Oglebay Foundation president and CEO Eriks Janelsins said at the opening ceremonies.

Among the displays with music is the Charlie Brown Christmas and Peanuts displays and “Jurassic Park” while passing the lighted dinosaur display.

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” display is accompanied by the music of the Christmas carol. New this year is an animated “Magical Mansion” light show outside the Oglebay Mansion.

Also added was the Santa’s Workshop display on the park zoo patio, Haley said.

“We have character meet and greets and we have snow machines down there for your nightly winter snow,” he said.

The Festival of Lights was established in 1985 and has become one one of the nation’s largest holiday light shows, attracting more than 1 million visitors each year.

The light show features more than 1 million LED lights in nearly 90 displays and trees over more than 300 acres and a six-mile drive through Oglebay Park. The show is held nightly until 11 p.m. through Jan. 10.

Haley said while they encourage folks to visit the light festival anytime throughout the run of the festival, weekdays nights are generally less busy than weekends for those who are looking to avoid higher traffic volumes.

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