It’s the most wonderful time of the year…again! Before we know it, the gates will open to the 2017 Tanglewood Festival of Lights, where families and visitors will drive through the spectacular lighting display that has become a staple of the holiday season.
While the festival always includes some signature displays, like the golfer hitting the ball and the beautiful archways, there are almost always new things in store. “Each year, our Forsyth County Parks and Recreation staff works to bring new elements into the show, and this year is no exception,” said Jessica Sanders, Marketing and Events Manager for Forsyth County Parks and Recreation. “There is one new display that we are all especially excited about, and we encourage visitors to be on the look-out for it.”
One element all festival goers can count on is an appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus! “No trip to Festival of Lights is complete without a visit to Santa,” said Sanders. “Santa and Mrs. Claus are located at the Gift Village, right outside the Gift Shop, and offer multiple photography packages. Their hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 6–9:30pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm–closing. Be sure to plan your visit (and Christmas list) in advance, and expect a wait on most evenings. Please also keep in mind that Santa’s last evening at Festival of Lights is December 23rd.”
The gift shop is always a fun way to find something special for everyone on your list. “This year’s gift shop has a great combination of brand-new vendors and customer favorites,” said Sanders. “We have more unique items to help complete your holiday shopping list than ever before, including the limited-edition Festival of Lights ornament.”
Additionally, the Festival of Lights gives back in some major ways throughout the season. “This season, Tanglewood will host the Souper 5K (November 11th), benefiting the Manna Meals soup ministry; the TOAST Walk (November 12th), which is the perfect event for families, strollers and wagoners; Paws in the Park (November 14th), which is a walk for animal lovers and their four-legged friends; the Festival of Lights Golf Tournament (November 19th); and the Running of the Lights (December 31st), which allows participants to start the New Year with a race through the Festival at midnight!”
While Thursdays–Sundays are the most popular nights of the week to attend the Festival, the rates per vehicle are the same, no matter what day of the week you attend. Family cars, trucks and vans are $15 each, commercial vans, limos and mini-buses are $35 each, and motor coaches and buses are $100 each. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Visitors can also take advantage of select discounted nights on November 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th when prices are $5, $15 and $65 for the respective categories.
“We are excited to have Lowes Foods as the sponsor of Festival of Lights again this season,” said Sanders. “They will once again offer roasting marshmallows at S’moresville outside the Gift Shop in the Gift Village, with activities and specials on select evenings. Make sure to stop at the Gift Village to shop, visit with Santa and roast marshmallows!”
The 2017 Tanglewood Festival of Lights is open from November 17th, 2017 through January 1st, 2018. Festival hours are 6–11pm nightly, with the exception of December 31st, on which the show will close at 10pm. For more information, visit the website www.forsyth.cc/Parks/Tanglewood/fol, or call 336.703.6400.