Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights

tanglewood lights train

Tanglewood Park is part of the Winston-Salem public park system. It has the usual parksy stuff, and boasts a very good golf course. It also has cool activities going on year round. Over the Christmas holiday, there is this cool Christmas lights display, a drive through in your car. There are about 180 really cool displays, many of them in motion, over a 4 mile course! We have discovered a great new holiday tradition here in Winston-Salem, and I’m sure it will become an annual event for us!

Here are a few facts:

Festival of Lights

Did You Know

  • Tanglewood Park’s Festival of Lights began in 1992 with a generous grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Charitable Trust as well as funds raised by the Tanglewood Park Foundation.
  • The first Festival of Lights in 1992 was a 1.5 mile route with only twenty five displays. Today the route has grown to just under 4 miles with one hundred eighty displays, of which seventy are animated.
  • The Holiday Gift Village began in 1994 with only ten exhibitors under an enclosed tent. The Gift Village has since moved to the Red Barn and has grown to include 120 exhibitors.
  • On average 250,000 visitors attend this yearly event.
  • The largest attendance for the Festival of Lights was in 2001. As we celebrated our 10th Anniversary and honored those who sacrificed their lives on 9-11, an estimated 300,000 visitors converged on Tanglewood to lift their spirits and celebrate the holidays.
  • The Driving Golfer display was one of the original displays of the Tanglewood Festival of Lights back in 1992 and remains today as one of the favorites of visitors. Each year Tanglewood adds or replaces exciting displays to the Festival.
  • Each year Tanglewood Festival of Lights Outreach Program benefits over 12,000 disadvantaged adults and children from the community.
  • Tanglewood begins setting up displays during the month of August to be ready for this large scale event which begins in mid November.
  • There are now over approximately a million individual lights that complete Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights.
  • Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights has been selected as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast and a Top 100 Event in North America.

9 thoughts on “Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights”

  1. Ooh,sounds like a lot of fun! My hubby and I love going through the drive through light displays! We stop for hot chocolate on the way! The one we normally go to is linked with a college radio station playing Christmas music, but we normally play our own holiday music. haha–Christmas tunes covered by rock bands/stars—it's the best! Thanks for this post–now I'm in such a good mood! 🙂

  2. Hi, Jess~

    Sounds romantic! There was a radio station with Christmas music at ours, too! But this year our drive through the Christmas lights wasn't of the romantic sort. We took our autistic son. He doesn't do well in crowds, so being in our own car was a good thing. And he loves lights and sparkling stuff, so this was a perfect event for him.

    Maybe some other year Gail and I will do it by ourselves, hot chocolate and everything! 🙂

    Hi, Sandee!

    I'm old enough to not be easily impressed, but this was truly cool!

    Big hug back at ya! 🙂

    Hi, Mimi!

    I bet Baby Boy loved it! And I'm glad you're feeling better! Time to schedule the belated b-day dinner, then! 🙂

  3. What a lovely, festive holiday tradition! Amazing how creative Christmas light displays can be.

    Tonight, we are attending an Old Fashioned Christmas in a small town near us. There are actually chestnuts roasting over open fires, carolers, hot chocolate and much merrymaking!
    .-= Keli´s last blog ..Stupidity, Tiger Woods and Young Fans =-.

  4. Hmmm…maybe Mrs. Rambler and I need to take a road trip. It would be an easier decision if I didn't hate driving at night. Great picture of this display, by the way. It's not easy to get a decent shot of Christmas decorations. I know, because I've tried and tried.
    .-= Tarheel Rambler´s last blog ..Ghosts of Christmas Past =-.

  5. Hi, Lee~

    An hour and a half each way, and driving back home in the dark. Hmm. It would be fun if you are well rested and not in a hurry.

    And I can't take credit for that shot of the lit up Tanglewood train. I "borrowed" that off the web. Maybe next year I'll take a tripod and try to take a few pics of the lights.
    .-= Ferd´s last blog ..Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights =-.

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