Can you believe that Christmas carols, Santa, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are just around the corner? (‘There’s a lot of sap!’) I know we haven’t hit Thanksgiving yet — Happy Thanksgiving everyone — but I wanted to let you all know about a wonderful event in Oshkosh held every year in Menominee Park: the Oshkosh Celebration of Lights. The event starts on Wednesday and runs through December. Held every night from November 21 through December 31 5:00-9:00 p.m., the Celebration of Lights boasts over a half million lights spread across a mile.
Celebration of Lights is in its 11th year and offers many additional bonuses in addition to the lights, including: Santa’s Workshop, Santa’s Snack Shop, The Elves Hideout (children’s activity center), synchronized lighting displays, live reindeer, and a 100 foot holiday tree. Admission is $8 per vehicle or $6 with a non-perishable food donation.
They also run a special schedule of events:
Santa’s Workshop • Children, young and old, are welcome to visit Santa and tell him what you wish for in person ~ Bring your camera to take a picture with him! Santa will be in from 5:30 – 8:30 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week, in addition to Community Nights, and Dec. 14 through 23.
2012 Race for the Light • Saturday, Dec. 1 • Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services’ 10th Annual Race for the Light. 5K Run/Walk will take place on Saturday December 3rd. This is one of their largest fundraising events & provides a fun and healthy way to raise awareness and funds to help end domestic violence in our communities. It’s also a great way to kick off the holiday season. The racecourse features the breathtaking Celebration of Lights in Oshkosh’s Menominee Park. For more information, Click Here.
Toys 4 Tots • Tuesday, Dec. 4 and Tuesday, Dec. 11 • A very special Community Night, sponsored by (Dec. 6) Fox Communities Credit Union & Winnebago Community Credit Union and (Dec. 13) Winnebago Home Builders Association brings a holiday message of hope to our area children by assisting the U.S. Marine Corps Toys 4 Tots program. Guests are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys to be distributed as Christmas gifts and messages of hope to less fortunate children in the Oshkosh area. Please bring a toy that will put a sparkle of joy in a child’s eye this Christmas.
Patriot Night • Thurs., Dec. 6 • To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and honoring all service men and women, past and present, we feature the all-new patriotic display at Celebration of Lights. Sponsored by American Legion Cook Fuller Post 70. Cars carrying service men and women whether active, retired and/or reserve are welcome to enjoy the Celebration of Lights for free. Any proceeds from admission this night will be donated to the Old Glory Honor Flight Organization, Click Here.
Oshkosh Humane Society Night • Saturday, Dec. 15 • Receive a $2.00 discount when you bring in items to assist the Oshkosh Humane Society. Helpful pet-related items include: Dry cat or dog food, bleach, kitty litter, paper towels, pet treats and pet toys.
Nights of the Torches • Saturday, Dec. 8 & Saturday, Dec. 31 • Hundreds of torches and Roman candles against a winter’s night sky add dazzle to the Celebration of Lights. Come and enjoy the park again on a Night of the Torches, designed and fired by Wisconsin Pyrotechnic Arts Guild, and sponsored by Oshkosh Sawdust Days and Festival Foods.
Community Nights • Each of these nights are FREE to the public to visit Santa and enjoy the lights: November 27 ~ Community First CU, December 4 ~ Fox Communities CU and Winnebago Community CU, December 11 ~ Winnebago Home Builders Association & Toys for Tots Night , and December 18 ~ Festival Foods/Pepsi.