Azalea Park lights up for holiday season

By Scott Graves December 06, 2012 09:41 am

 Visitors to Azalea Park take in a light show called Nature’s Coastal Holiday.  WesCom News Service / Bill Schlichting
Visitors to Azalea Park take in a light show called Nature’s Coastal Holiday. WesCom News Service / Bill Schlichting
 Hundreds of thousands of lights are twinkling throughout Azalea Park in Brookings from now through Christmas.

“We’ll be open rain or shine, unless it’s driving rain and wind; then we’ll have to shut it down,” said Dave Kitchen, coordinator for this year’s Nature’s Coastal Holiday.

The display is in its 16th season, featuring both traditions such as lighted animal sculptures and hot cider, as well as the excitement of visits from Santa and a new cash give-away.

 

The light show is open nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. Admission is $1 for adults; children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission includes free cider and cookies.

Santa Claus also hands out candy canes when he stops to visit the park. This year he has scheduled visits from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14, 15, 22, 23 and 24.

Organizers believe there are more than 450,000 lights twinkling in the gardens, including more than 14,000 lights and new sculptures this year alone. Many are in the unique animal sculptures scattered throughout the park — from land animals like deer, elk and fox to sea creatures in the “undersea garden.”

Nature’s Coastal Holiday’s newest feature is a Twinkle Treasure Hunt, offering a chance to win a $100 cash prize. Visitors following the clues to special displays can enter their name in a drawing that will happen at the end of the show.

Dozens of volunteers help organize, set up and operate the nonprofit event, with the costs of electricity and lights paid by donations and sponsors from throughout the community.

For more information, search for Nature’s Coastal Holiday on Facebook, or call 541-661-7437.