Yukon’s annual Christmas in the Park lighting display will begin twinkling Saturday, and officials say the show will go on, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The display, which features more than five million LED lights, will operate daily through New Year’s Eve.
This year marks the 25th anniversary for the event, which draws more than 100,000 visitors each year.
The free event spans three parks — City Park, Freedom Trail Park and Chisholm Trail Park.
It will be open from 6 to 11 p.m.
Yukon City Manager Jim Crosby said this year’s festivities include the traditional drive-through display, as well as a train that will take passengers on a tour of the lights.
New to the festivities this year is an ice-skating rink, which will be open daily.
Crosby said the event is Yukon’s gift to the community.
“The great thing about Christmas in the Park is that it easily lends itself to social distancing. The lights are spread out over 100 acres, and the majority of our visitors take the drive-thru tour and stay in their cars,” he said.
Crosby said when the event began, it was just a handful of displays spread around Yukon Community Center.
Over the years, however, the display has gradually grown.
“We wanted to spread Christmas cheer in the community, so we decorated the Community Center. Year after year, more and more people, businesses and organizations jumped on board to add to the attractions. With their help, it turned into the magnificent spectacle it is today,” Crosby said.
Christmas in the Park is considered to be the largest drive-thru display in Oklahoma and has attracted visitors from 48 states.
In addition to the skating rink, officials said this year’s display has added more interactive displays, selfie stations and 3-D displays.
The activities for the opening night will kickoff at Chisholm Trail Park at 4:30 p.m. Saturday with the Mascot Dash, followed at 5 p.m. with Chill Your Cheeks 5K.
At 5:30, there will be a Jingle Walk, where participants can stroll through the lighting display.
From 5:30 to 7 p.m., there will be the Kringle Karnival, which will include prize drawings, live music, entertainment and crafts and games for the kids.
Christmas in the Park officially opens at 6 p.m. when a switch will be thrown to turn the lights on.