LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2017) – The 24th annual Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Nov. 17-Dec. 31. A holiday tradition for many families, more than 120,000 individuals in more than 30,000 vehicles attend Southern Lights annually from Kentucky and beyond, making Southern Lights a premier holiday event in the region and nation.
Families delight in the holiday driving tour that take them on a journey through dazzling lighted arches and by colorful, often animated, lighted forms featuring a wide variety of holiday, equine-themed and pop culture iconic displays such as “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the Keeneland race track, the spires of Churchill Downs, “Star Wars,” Cinderella and much more. One of the new displays this year features an animated horse drawn sleigh.
Following the driving tour, visitors are encouraged to park their vehicles and walk into the park’s main campus to visit the Holiday Festival attractions. This non-driving portion of Southern Lights features photos with Santa, holiday craft merchants, an exotic petting zoo, pony and camel rides, the Mini Train Express, model train and dollhouse displays, and the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop. The Bit & Bridle Restaurant will serve holiday fare as will other food vendors, including Original Kettle Corn and Bluegrass Concessions.
The Southern Lights driving route is open 5:30-10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31. The non-driving Holiday Festival attractions will be open every night except Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) and Dec. 24-31. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of shorter lines and lower prices by visiting Southern Lights Monday through Thursday evenings, and by visiting early in the season.
The cost per passenger car (up to 7 passengers) is $15 Monday through Thursday nights, and $25 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The cost for an extended van, RV or limousine (up to 15 passengers) is $35, a minibus (up to 25 passengers) is $60, a school bus is $75 and a motor coach is $150. Companies and organizations may pre-purchase discounted admission tickets to Southern Lights by contacting the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation in advance. No discounts will be available at the admission gate.
All proceeds from Southern Lights support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. The 2017 Southern Lights Shining Star Presenting Sponsor is Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc.; the Silver & Gold Sponsor is Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, the Holly & Ivy Sponsor is Kerr Brothers Funeral Home; the Ribbons & Bows Sponsors are Central Bank, Central Equipment, Kentucky Utilities and Kubota; and the Thirsty Thursday Sponsor is Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated.
Breyer Nights, with giveaways by Breyer Model Horses, will be Monday-Thursday, Nov. 27-30; on Wednesday, Dec. 13, Toyota Motor Manufacturing will be hosting a Community Appreciation Night, providing free admission to the first 50 cars in line; there will be two Military & First Responders Nights this year, Tuesday, Dec. 12 and Monday, Dec. 18, allowing all active and retired military and First Responder families one free car admission by showing their I.D. at the gate; and Thirsty Thursdays, with giveaways from the Coca Cola Bottling Company, will be every Thursday night during Southern Lights.
Information on Southern Lights may be obtained by contacting the KHP Foundation at 859-255-5727 or by visiting www.SouthernLightsKy.org
Insider Tip: Out-of-town visitors should use Interstate 75, Exit 115 (Newtown Pike) instead of Exit 120 (Iron Works Pike) to access the Southern Lights entrance at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground from the east to help avoid congestion from the interstate to the west and a left-hand turn across traffic into the park.
Editor’s Note: Some electronic map services available on Apple and Android mobile and auto GPS devices are not providing accurate directions to the Kentucky Horse Park. We recommend that guests input directions to the KHP Campground, the entrance to Southern Lights, at 3785 Campground Road, Lexington, Ky. 40511.