Winter Lights Festival excites students


Photo by James Walsh

Junior James Walsh attends the Winter Lights Festival in Gaithersburg on Dec. 5.

The annual Winter Lights Festival has reopened for the winter season, and has been social distancing since 1995. The festival has been put on for about 25 years and will open from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31. It is open every day of the week from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. This exhibit is open every night except for Christmas Day. The Winter Lights Festival is a 3.5 mile drive through Seneca Creek State Park. While staying in the vehicle, people have the opportunity to view over 450 illuminated displays and beautifully lit trees.

Although this activity is naturally socially distanced, there are some additives this year to stay safe due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The driver is required to wear a mask at the admission booth, but other than that, this activity is approved as it is viewed from inside the car. The S’more Lights, Wine Under the Lights, Run Under the Lights and Leashes n’ Lights will all not take place this year. “Although I am upset that not all of the exciting activities are able to take place this year, I am glad there is still the main event of the beautiful light show,” senior Rozhin Fadae said.

An admission ticket per vehicle is $12 if purchased in advance and $15 if purchased on site on Monday through Thursday. An admission ticket per vehicle costs $17 if purchased in advance and $20 if purchased on site on Friday and Saturday. This festival is less busy during the week and more busy on the weekends. This festival costs less in the first half of December than in the second half of December as it gets closer to the holidays.

This light show is a great way to celebrate the holidays while still staying safe…”

— James Walsh

With light traffic, the festival lasts about 25 to 30 minutes. On busier nights, however, it can last anywhere from 1.5 to two hours. “This light show is a great way to celebrate the holidays while still staying safe, so I am looking forward to going probably multiple times this season,” junior James Walsh said.

Attendees must remain in the vehicle but can go as slow as they would like if they want to capture the experience on camera. Since it gets dark out early these days, it is a great activity that can be started early or late in the night.

If going early, you still have time to get a treat. “I work at Sprinkles Potomac, which is an ice cream shop that would be a yummy treat to enjoy after viewing the Winter Lights show,” senior Minnyi U said.

The Winter Lights Show festival is an exciting activity to get into the holidays spirit while still staying safe during this pandemic.