Southern Lights festival begins Thursday, runs through Dec. 31

Special to The State Journal, Published:

LEXINGTON – With the return of the Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc., the Southern Lights Stroll once again debuts as its opening night on Thursday, Nov. 15.

The only evening of the entire event when the public is allowed to experience a major portion of the lighted route on foot, visitors may choose to run, walk or stroll their way through thousands of dazzling holiday lights in the heart of horse country, on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park.

Now in its 11th season, the Southern Lights Stroll has proven popular with casual walkers and families who bring out their children and pets to get photos and see the lights outside of a car, and with serious runners who come to compete in the 5K portion of the “stroll.” 

John’s Run/Walk Shop has donated their services to the competitive 5K race, and awards will be given to winners.  Additional activities include complimentary Mini Train Express rides, refreshments, prize drawings and more.

A food drive for God’s Pantry and local animal shelters will be held in conjunction with this event.  All participants are asked to bring non-perishable items to help the needy families of Central Kentucky and local animal shelters.

Pre-registration is $20 for adults and $15 for kids 7-12.  Walk-up registration on Thursday begins at 5, and the stroll begins at 6:45.  Check-in is at the park’s Visitor Information Center.  The first 500 registered adults receive a souvenir T-shirt, and the first 200 registered kids receive a holiday ornament, compliments of Breyer.

All proceeds of Southern Lights and Southern Lights Stroll support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. In September, the American Bus Association (ABA) selected Southern Lights a Top 100 event for 2013, which is an annual compendium of the best events for group travel in the United States and Canada. 

Southern Lights is open from 5:30-10 from Nov. 16-Dec. 31. Indoor attractions will be open every night except Nov. 22 and Dec. 24-31. The cost is $15 per car Sunday through Thursday and $20 per car on Friday and Saturday.  Contact the KHP Foundation for more information at (859) 255-5727, foundation@khpfoundation.org, or www.khpfoundation.org

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