Festival of Lights returns to Pelham

The Festival of Lights at Oak Mountain Amphitheater offers a mile of Christmas light displays. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

The Festival of Lights at Oak Mountain Amphitheater offers a mile of Christmas light displays. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Take a ride through a winter wonderland at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater’s Festival of Lights.

More than 1 million individual lights bring Christmas displays and animated scenes to life in a mile-long drive-through course constructed on the Oak Mountain Amphitheater property. Snow and bubble machines along the way add to the Christmas experience, John Ruffino, partner at Red Mountain Entertainment said.

After driving through the light display, attendants can enjoy the Christmas Village, complete with a miniature train, bounce houses, vendors and complementary cookies and milk from Bud’s Best Cookies.

“This is just a fun, family event,” Ruffino said.

The Festival of Lights originally began as a Christmas light display along Amphitheater Road in Pelham about 18 years ago, Ruffino said, but after several productions and continued growth and traffic in the area, it stopped.

“As the area grew up, we stopped doing it,” Ruffino said.

Ruffino and Patrick Boone, general manager at Live Nation, decided to bring the Christmas light event back to Pelham. The two researched similar productions in other states to get ideas, Boone said.

“I’d say (this year’s Festival of Lights) is at least twice or three times what we had then,” Ruffino said. “People are really excited.”

Attendants can tune into 93.3 FM for a soundtrack to the light display, and special glasses available for purchase create a unique 3-D experience.

“It’s magic,” Boone said.

The Festival of Lights opens at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 27. Tickets can be purchased for $20 per carload. Days and hours of operation and more information can be found online at Oakmountainfestivaloflights.com.