is getting into the Christmas spirit, with a little help from their friends to the north of course.
The Palace Entertainment owned theme park unveiled plans Wednesday for their new “Holiday Lights” program that will have the park open on weekends from Nov. 30 through Christmas. The new program will feature a display with “hundreds of thousands of lights” as well as kiddie rides, cookie decorating and other family-friendly events.
“This is something we’ve been working on for several years now and with the support of the towns of Bristol and Southington, we are looking forward to providing something special for the community,” said Jerry Brick, general manager at Lake Compounce.
“Holiday Lights” will provide full family entertainment for all ages and include festive activities such as a spectacular holiday lights show featuring tens of thousands of lights dancing to holiday music every half hour, said Marketing Director Sara Frias.
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The train, which runs through the Southington portion of the park to the Starlight Theater where Santa will provide in-person visits for children to take pictures and share their holiday wish lists, will serve as “a North Pole Railway.” Kiddie rides and other daily attractions will also be open.
Anne Lee, marketing specialist with Connecticut’s Central Regional Tourism District, said she is excited and believes the new program will attract a number of people to central Connecticut during the holidays. She said although the program is in its first year, it will likely draw residents from out of state and help bring economic benefits to the central Connecticut region.
“This is a wonderful event, not only for kids but for kids at heart,” Lee said. “We’ve found people will travel outside their usual boundaries to experience unique Christmas activities and we anticipate the park will see visitors from surrounding states.”
Julie and Jack Kitsock, both children who attended the event with Lee on Wednesday, said they are looking forward to coming back and being part of the event.
The two had the opportunity to meet with Santa Claus as the “Holiday Lights” program was announced, but said they weren’t sure what to tell him they wanted for Christmas just yet. The youngsters, from Attleboro, Mass., plan to bring a letter when they return in December.
Brick said although the park has high hopes for the program and anticipate a good turnout, they are simply looking to make sure everyone has fun and aren’t setting any goals for attendance during the first year.
“When we first discussed this, our ultimate goal was to provide something fun and different that we could sustain for years to come,” he said. “We don’t have a high goal and our top priority is to make sure everyone is having fun.”
The park will be open Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, Dec. 7 -9, Dec. 14 – 16 and Dec. 21 – 23. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Fridays and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and will remain open until 9 p.m.
For more information, click the link to visit the Lake Compounce website.
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