BY ADELE CASANOVA
The holidays are near! And that means enjoying the Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights! This magical event has long been an area favorite. In addition to the beautiful array of holiday lights, visitors can enjoy shopping at The Gift Shop again this year. There will also be horse-drawn carriage rides, and tractor-pulled hay rides to enhance the tour. Lowe’s Foods will once again host the S’moresville fun at The Gift Village, and best of all, Santa will be back at the Festival this year!
Jessica Sanders, Marketing and Events Manager for the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation, announced, “Forsyth County Parks and Recreation is so excited to present the 2019 season of Tanglewood Festival of Lights, sponsored by Lowes Foods! Lowes Foods has been the most festive partner over the past several years, and we are so looking forward, once again, to sharing in this unique community experience. We are thrilled to announce that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Festival of Lights this season. So, be sure to make plans to share your Christmas list and get your photos with Santa! Much to our merriment, one of our brand-new displays from the 2018 season, the magical large Moravian star, was a huge hit! We loved seeing it pop up on many of your Instagram feeds and all across social media. The Moravian Star will be at Festival of Lights again this season for you to view for the first time, or revisit and perfect your photography skills. We also wanted to remind everyone to make their carriage and hayride reservations, as availability does book up quickly. To make reservations for carriage and hayrides, please call 336.766.9540.”
This year, the Festival of Lights will run from Friday, November 15th through Wednesday, January 1st. Hours of operation will be 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. each night, with the exception of Tuesday, December 31st, when the show will close at 10:00 p.m.
The Gift Shop, located at the Red Barn, is a must for visitors. Situated halfway through the light show, The Gift Shop offers holiday crafts, wood workings, homemade baked breads, cookies, jams, honey, fresh fudge, and many other locally sourced items. Guests can shop for jewelry, clothing, pottery, wood carvings, dog treats, lamps, and candles. What a great place to do your Christmas shopping! Hours for The Gift Shop will be 6:00 to 11:00 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays, closing at 12:00 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with the exception of December 31st, when it will close at 10:00 p.m. An ATM will be located inside The Gift Shop.
Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides take you and up to three guests for a ride through the Tanglewood Festival of Lights. Experience the light show in the comfort of a traditional white carriage, drawn by a Percheron horse. Carriage rides are scheduled by reservation only. Call early for reservations while they last!
Tractor-Pulled Hayrides allow you to view the magic and splendor of Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights with your family and friends on a fun hayride! Holiday hayrides are available for groups of up to 25 people per ride. Hayrides are available by reservation every night during the light show. Call for reservations or more information.
S’moresville will once again be presented by Lowes Foods. This long-loved family tradition is located in The Gift Village, right outside The Gift Shop. Lowes will be selling the roasting sticks on-site, with either marshmallows or S’mores kits. Lowes provides all you need to create this delicious treat! S’moresville will close each evening at 10 PM and will be closed on Christmas Day.
The most popular times for visitors to attend the Festival of Lights are weekends just prior to Christmas, so, consider visiting on a weeknight to experience shorter wait times to enter. Weekend wait times can be as long as 4 hours, so plan to be inside the gate by 11:00 p.m. to ensure a chance to tour the park. Consider touring the Festival on a discount night, November 19th, 20th, 26th, or 27th.
For more information, directions to Tanglewood Park and Festival entrance fees, call 336-703-6400. For carriage and hayride reservations and fees, call 336.766.9540 or visit www.forsyth.cc/Parks/Tanglewood/FOL.