While it’s true that “all that glitters is not gold,” there happens to be one particular holiday event in Calhoun County that is sure to provide a wealth of fun for your family this Christmas. Get ready for the Oxford Festival of Lights to roll out its sparkling red carpet this Friday, November 17th. Located at Choccolocco Park, 1 mile south of Exit 188 in Oxford, Alabama, the annual Oxford Festival of Lights is the premier holiday event for Calhoun County, attracting a slew of folks in search of at least one place where they can enjoy radiant Christmas lights in all their glory.
Take the Lighted Tour
All you need is a car big enough to hold your family members to tour the illuminated paved pathway through a mile-long maze of lustrous light displays. You’ll witness scenes from Santa’s Workshop, toys coming off the assembly lines, and elves loading his sleigh. Twinkling Christmas trees will light your way as you wind through an incandescent paradise filled with toys, animals, trains, bells, and candles. Live-action sports-themed spectacles will bedazzle you. You’ll travel through tunnels decked in multi-colored glory. With over a million lights strung across the property, the Festival of Lights is indeed a blinding feast for the eyes!
A by-the-vehicle fee will allow you and your friends or family to tour the light displays while music plays in the background. Ticket prices (at the gate) are as follows:
- Car (seating up to 8 passengers) $25 Monday – Thursday/$30 Friday – Sunday
- Van (seating 9-15 passengers) $25 Monday – Thursday/$30 Friday – Sunday
- Bus/Limo (seating 16+ passengers) $45 Monday – Thursday/$50 Friday – Sunday
You can also purchase advanced tickets, but it bears mentioning that this is only true for cars (not vans, buses, or limos).
Stroll Through Santa’s Village
The great thing about the Oxford Festival of Lights is that it’s not merely a drive-thru experience. Once you’ve toured the lights, you can park and take a fun walk through Santa’s Village, where you’ll meet Santa himself, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, elves, and more. Santa will be available to hear children’s wish lists and for photos (typically 5pm-9pm) at a fee of $10, while kids can also sit down and pen Santa a letter free of charge. For youth who are brimming with energy, an all-access wristband will purchase unlimited time on multiple large and small inflatables such as Mt. Everest and the Snowzilla Slide. Also included is ice skating on Oxford’s sleek, slick synthetic ice rink. The wristbands are $20 for the first and $10 for each additional one purchased in the group.
A new spot in Santa’s Village this year is the North Pole General Store, sponsored by Jack Green Oil Co. Browse their aisles for gourmet fudge, old-fashioned candy, and cotton candy, or sip on hot apple cider. A featured item available for purchase will be the new City of Oxford Monopoly Board Game, proposed by a local Girl Scout to commemorate the 171st birthday of Oxford, Alabama. Other merch folks can pick up includes clothing items, jewelry, fiber optic wands, LED swords, and antlers to help kids and adults look the holiday part.
The Q&A Concessions will be back cooking up affordable festival food like hot dogs, hamburgers, Philly cheese steaks, chicken fingers, fries, pretzels, boiled peanuts, funnel cakes, and more. If you’re more in the mood for a hot beverage, saunter on over to Travelin’ Tom’s Coffee Truck, where you can buy a cappuccino, macchiato, espresso, mocha, or cold drinks like iced latte, frappe, macchiato, lemonade, cold brews, and iced tea. D&W Kettle Corn will also be onsite with a variety of snacks to keep you happily munching.
Dates, Times, and Special Days
The Oxford Festival of Lights will be open nightly starting a 5 pm, with the park closing at 9 pm Monday – Thursday, and closing at 10 pm Friday – Sunday. Select calendar days will feature discounted prices listed below:
- Monday, November 20 Educators, School Staff, Healthcare $20 w/work ID
- Tuesday, November 21 Military & Veterans $20 w/ID
- Thursday, November 23 Iron Bowl Night–Wear Auburn/Alabama $20
- Monday, November 27 First Responders $20 w/Badge
- Tuesday, November 28 Oxford Strong–Show proof of residence $20
- Wednesday, November 29 Wonderful Wednesday–Drive thru the park twice
So what are you waiting for? Load up the car any time between November 17th and December 24th and bask in the luminescent glow of Christmas lights galore. 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 emailing the coordinators here.