The staff at Sunset Hill Farm County Park has been extremely busy putting up hundreds of light display of all shapes and sizes in anticipation of Porter County’s largest holiday tradition, Winter Lights Night Festival.
These lights will turn on for the first time this weekend, with the event kicking off the season on Saturday, November 16, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Sunset Hill Farm, 775 Meridian Road in Valparaiso. The event is sponsored by The Times Media Company, and the cost is $5 per car. A variety of activities and attractions will be available including a grand finale firework display at 7:30 pm.
Children will have the chance to meet Santa Claus, get their faces painted, make crafts, decorate sugar cookies, write a letter to Santa and much more. A student art show and contest will be on display, with everyone getting the chance to vote for their favorite work. Many schools are participating in this portion of the festival.
Families will also have the chance to take a wagon ride to admire the hundreds of light displays that illuminate the park. The Winter Lights Night Fireworks Show, which has become a Porter County tradition, will light up the sky to close out the evening, and a variety of vendors will be offering food.
“We have all worked very hard this year to make this a unforgettable event for each and every person, young and old who attend,” Porter County Parks and Recreation Communications Director Geri Rose said. “Our maintenance staff starts putting up hundreds of light displays long before Halloween, and our program staff puts together an evening of great activities that both kids and adults can enjoy.”
The light displays are unique to the park, and many of them were custom-made by members of the maintenance staff. Some of the displays include a rollercoaster that is over 20 feet tall, a farm scene consisting of various pieces, and Santa taking off into the air with his reindeer.
“People love the light displays at Sunset Hill Farm, and Winter Lights Night offers a chance to come to the park and enjoy them at a fun, affordable festival with lots to do.” Rose said.
Winter Lights Night Festival will also be a drop off site for Toys for Tots and Porter County Parks is asking that each child that comes to see Santa bring in a canned good to be donated to a local food pantry.
The Winter Lights displays will still be available for people to enjoy after Winter Lights Night, with a free drive through beginning on Thanksgiving Day from 5 to 9 p.m. It will then run every Friday through Sunday, from 5 to 9 p.m. through New Year’s Day. Donations are always welcome.
For more information on this event or the drive through, call 219-465-3586 or visit www.portercountyparks.org.
About Porter County Parks and Recreation
The mission of the Porter County Parks and Recreation Board and Department is to preserve, protect and manage the natural, cultural and recreational resources within a diverse park system. For more information, call 219-465-3586 or visit www.portercountyparks.org.