Over Thanksgiving weekend, Art and I went back up to Oregon to visit his parents. One of the things they were most excited to show us while we were there was the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights in nearby Roseburg.
We were really not sure what to expect, as the only description we were given was that the festival boasts the world’s largest nutcracker. But we were game, so the Saturday after Thanksgiving we loaded up in the car and drove to Roseburg.
Art’s dad wanted us to drive the backroads, since the festival takes place in River Forks Park, on the far west of town. Unfortunately, he did not quite remember how to get there, so we got a tiny bit lost before we turned on the GPS and got back on track 😉
Upon entering the park, we turned into the first driveway because it had a cute lighted display:
It turned out we had arrived at the Holiday Village, a cute little house that is run each week of the festival by a different charitable organization. Entry to the Holiday Village is free, but donations are graciously accepted. There was a line to see Santa, nutcrackers handing out free cookies and hot cider, nutcracker ornaments for sale, and a wonderful display of all different kinds of Santas. On the way out, we were asked to pause and watch the light display on the front lawn, which changes with the music.
After leaving the Holiday Village we finally made it to the entrance for the Festival of Lights:
The entrance fee is only $10 a car. Proceeds go to the Rotary Club of Roseburg for their charitable scholarships and community projects. When you pay, the attendant will tell you which station to tune your car radio for music that accompanies the light displays.
Here were some of our favorites:
As an alternative to driving the route in your car, there is also the option take a horsedrawn wagon ride through the display. Cost is $5 per person.
My photos do not at all do this event justice. Art and I both thought the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights was AMAZING!!! It was a great kickoff to the Christmas season.
For more information, visit the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights website.