Bright Nights back at Forest park for its 24th season


The annual Bright Nights holiday light display returns to Springfield’s Forest Park for its 24th season Wednesday night. 

According to Spirit of Springfield Vice President Amy Barron-Burke, the display, which features more than 650,000 lights, is entering its 24th season and will open at 5 p.m. with a lighting ceremony in Santa’s Magical Forest. 

Barron-Burke said Bright Nights will offer $6 admission on opening night as a throwback to when the display began in 1995.

The three-mile-long display will run for 40 days until January 1 but will be closed on November 26 and 27. 

Admission will cost $18 per car Monday through Friday, and $21 per car on Fridays, Saturdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

People can take advantage of reduced admission prices on December 4 and 11 when admission is just $10 per car for $10 Tuesdays.

Gates will be open at the following times each night: 

  • Sunday- Thursday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (buses given priority until 6 p.m.)
  • Friday, Saturday, and holidays: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. or until every car in line has taken the drive (buses are given priority until 6 p.m.)

Despite freezing temperatures, a large crowd is expected Wednesday for opening night. In 2017, 1,400 cars were in attendance, the largest in the history of the display. 

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