A Quarter Century of Merry and Bright
Every year, just before Thanksgiving, you see it before you even get into Yukon. A glowing greeting adorns the north side of I-40: “Merry Christmas from the City of Yukon.” Upon taking exit 138 (or 139, if you’re coming from the West), you feel the excitement as you follow the pointing snowmen to the main attraction. Finally, you start your journey through a magnificent arch that reads “Christmas in the Park.”
Follow the winding path through three interconnected parks transformed into a holiday wonderland, and you’ll see a quarter century of hard work, lovingly put together by City staff and volunteers. It’s no wonder Christmas in the Park holds the distinction of largest drive-thru light display in Oklahoma, boasting over 5 million lights and 500 whimsical displays.
There are three ways to enjoy Christmas in the Park. Motorists from the contiguous 48 states have driven through this wonderland. We’re still hoping to mark off Alaska and Hawaii, so if you know anyone passing through, tell them to stop by. Twinkling animated displays amuse as you leisurely make your way through, while LED displays synchronized with music wow young and old alike.
Guest can get up-close and personal to the lights with a walking tour. The romantic pond area in Chisholm Trail Park is ideal for a winter date. There is even a “Will You Marry Me?” sign for guests who are ready to pop the question.
The Christmas in the Park Train Station is the junction of tasty treats, selfie spots, and, new this year, an ice skating rink. For a small fee, the Santa Express takes guests on a tour of the lights that adorn Chisholm Trail Park.
Christmas in the Park event planners are hard at work to make the display extra magical, marking the silver anniversary of 25 years of the attraction. In addition, they stand ready with health precautions to help prevent the spread COVID-19.
“The great thing about Christmas in the Park is that it easily lends itself to social distancing,” said Jim Crosby, City Manager of Yukon. “The lights are spread out over 100 acres, and the majority of our visitors take the drive-thru tour and stay in their car.”
Seeing the magnificence of millions of lights over three inter-connected parks, no one would guess that it started out as a handful of displays around the Yukon Community Center.
“We wanted to spread Christmas cheer in the community, so we decorated the Community Center,” said Crosby. “Year after year, more and more people, businesses and organizations jumped on board to add to the attraction. With their help, it turned into the magnificent spectacle it is today.”
One of the reasons that Christmas in the Park is so special is that every large sponsored display is specifically designed by the sponsor. So, you won’t be able to find it anywhere else. If you look closely, each display tells a Christmas-themed story about the person, business, or organization that designed it.
Christmas in the Park is one of the oldest and most popular traditions in Yukon. Join the Yukon community in opening Christmas in the Park Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 6 p.m. This holiday spectacular will then run nightly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. through New Year’s Eve.
For more information about Christmas in the Park, visit www.yukonok.gov/ChristmasinthePark or call 405-354-8442.