Lighting the Way at Illuminights

The story under is from our May/June 2020 concern, on newsstands now. For extra prefer it, Subscribe Today. Thank you! 

How Roanoke’s first-ever Illuminights turned a transparent occasion fan favourite – and a brand new vacation custom.

Illuminights was a transparent winner for our area this yr! As the Platinum winner for “Best Thing to Happen in Roanoke, 2019” and Gold winner for “Best Annual Holiday Event” as voted on by readers in our Best of Roanoke 2020 ballot, Illuminights highlighted the great thing about Explore Park throughout the winter season.

Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s Special Events and Tourism Coordinator Wendi Schultz says they needed to carry a signature vacation occasion to the Valley that showcased the distinctive partnership between Roanoke County and Center in the Square.

“Rarely can you find two organizations who work so well together and whose mission so complement each other,” Schultz says.

Illuminights was a whole-hearted endeavor that took 1,750 hours to set the lights and shows alongside the path, together with 527 totally different workers and over 700 volunteer shifts to function the precise occasion.

And it was simply the factor to get everybody in the vacation spirit. With over 500,000 lights, attendees might journey at their very own tempo on a strolling tour of shows celebrating nature, fantasy, journey and, in fact, Christmas traditions. The half-mile wooded path allowed everybody to soak up the sights and sounds of the season. Guests might additionally get pleasure from interactive enjoyable resembling cookie adorning, marshmallow roasting and even carriage rides. In addition to Twin Creeks Brewpub, you may additionally get pleasure from sizzling cocoa and cider and varied meals vans. 

In truth, it turned such fashionable vacation enjoyable that the crowds had been inspired to purchase tickets prematurely in order to not miss out on the enjoyable.

“We, as well as Center in the Square, are thrilled that the community has so enthusiastically embraced this event,” says Schultz. “And we love that they will be making it a part of their annual Christmas tradition with family and friends!”

Schultz says Illuminights was thrilling not solely as a result of it was new to the space, however as a result of it was “very different from anything else that has happened to this community during the holiday season.” Affordability was one other issue, as was the feel-good incontrovertible fact that it merely introduced households and buddies collectively in a festive and joyful surroundings. 

“I loved seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces,” Schultz says, including, “and the gleam of wonder in their eyes as they experienced our Walk of Lights!”

Illuminights will return in 2020 with new sights and sounds, and loads of smiles on everybody’s faces. Don’t miss a single festive second – keep up to date with Explore Park and Center in the Square’s Illuminights at

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