choccolocco park in oxford alabama

Holiday Spirit Abounds at the Oxford Festival of Lights

Article By Abby Parks

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In all of Calhoun County, there’s hardly a daily holiday draw (between November 18th and December 24th) more compelling than the Oxford Festival of Lights.  The Oxford Festival of Lights, one of the best ‘Winter Wonderlands’ you can encounter in the state of Alabama, is located at Choccolocco Park, 1 mile south of Exit 188 in Oxford, Alabama.  This mile-long drive-thru light show extravaganza features countless light displays (over 1 million holiday lights to be exact) to observe from the comfort of your car. Once you’ve taken in the dazzling ornamental arrangements, your entrance fee to the park allows admission to Santa’s Village, a walking experience where you can access food concessions, vendors, take part in activities like ice skating, and even visit Santa Claus himself!

Lighten Up for the Holidays

If it’s yuletide illumination that you’re looking for, then you’ll find lights galore as you take a scenic drive through Choccolocco Park to admire the spectacular displays.  You’ll encounter colorful lighted archways and tunnels, and dozens of sparkling Christmas trees topped with shining stars. You’ll witness gleaming displays featuring a candy cane factory, Santa’s elves hard at work, toys, animals, trains, bells, candles–all manner of holiday decor! And there are even more scenes to be enjoyed, as the city of Oxford has added new displays this year that will keep you bedazzled on your leisurely drive.

One of the most amazing aspects of this glittering holiday spectacle is how reasonable it is for a family to enjoy.  Ticket prices are by the car/van/bus–not by how many folks are seated in said vehicle.  Ticket prices (at the gate) are as follows:

  • Car (seating up to 8 passengers) $20 Monday – Thursday/$25 Friday – Sunday  
  • Van (seating 9-15 passengers) $25 Monday – Thursday/$30 Friday – Sunday
  • Bus/Limo (seating 16+ passengers) $45 Monday – Thursday/$50 Friday – Sunday

Visit Santa’s Village for All the Extras

One of the special perks of visiting the Oxford Festival of Lights is that it gives your children the opportunity to visit one-on-one with Santa seven days a week.  Countless other events that feature a Santa experience may only have him available on weekends, or at specific limited times, and then there’s the big lines, waiting for that short little visit!  Santa’s Village operates on the same hours as the park in general, with Santa himself being available for a chat and photos from 5pm-9pm Monday through Sunday.  A photo with Santa is an additional $10, but for that price, parents can sneak an extra shot or two of the legend of Christmas folklore.  And rumor has it that your kids may encounter other characters in the village (we’ll keep just who under wraps for now).

There’s other fun activities for the kids at Santa’s Village.  They can take part in the special Letters to Santa activity which involves writing a letter to Santa with crayons, markers, and paper provided, and mailing it on location.  And there’s plenty of free Selfie Stations for colorful family photos.  For additional charges, there are inflatables of varying sizes for kids of all ages–two we must mention are the Mt. Everest and the Snowzilla Slide.  You can also take a turn on the ice at the synthetic 80×40 ice rink!  Skate rental for shoe sizes Child 6 – Adult 13 is $10.  There are special $20 wristbands that can get you entrance to all inflatables, slides, and skating.  Besides these activities, there will be special free live music events performed by area schools and more.   

The QNA Concessions sells all kinds of food including:  hot dogs, hamburgers, Philly cheese steaks, Polish sausages, fries, boiled peanuts, funnel cakes, and more.  A special item that will get you in the mood for the holidays is the apple cider at $5 a glass or $15 for an unlimited mug.

The goal of the organizers behind the Oxford Festival of Lights is clear.  They want everyone that visits it to have a great experience.  We highly encourage you to load up the car any time between November 18th and December 24th and take this luminescent tour of Christmas lights.  The Oxford Festival of Lights (halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta on I-20) is located at Choccolocco Park, 954 Leon Smith Parkway, Oxford, AL 36203. You can get more information by calling (256) 342-0174 or emailing lorie.denton@oxfordal.gov.

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