Aurora Celebration of Lights

The festive entrance gate shows the name of the event; ‘Auroras Holiday Celebration of Lights’.

By Len Beczko, Staff Writer

As COVID-19 has affected the world in such a way that social distancing, masks, and shops being closed are the norm, it makes sense that many drive-through Christmas lights displays have popped up. Some are free, and some require tickets, but they are all made to be observed from the warmth and comfort of a car and absolutely bursting with color.

The Aurora Celebration of Lights specifically boasts more than a mile of lights and is one of the largest free outdoor lights displays in Northern Illinois. All of Aurora pitches in with donations and other help to help bring these vivid decorations to life. Last year over 30,000 cars visited the wonderous four-week event. The Rotary Club of Aurora is one of the donators for this event, which was first executed in 2007 after being thought up by the members. It then kept becoming a reality year after year, quickly becoming a tradition.

Among the Christmas decorations set up around the park, there is the giant entryway gate at the very beginning, a tunnel lined with LEDs, Old Man Winter, and even an LED ice rink. There’s also a group of merry carolers and structures set up, so it appears golden stags are jumping above your car. There is even a ‘Santas Toys Co.’ structure, obviously symbolizing Santas Workshop. Each year boasts new displays, and this year, in particular, saw the expansion of the Ice Rink, visibly a favorite among viewers, as well as new dancing arcs.

All the lights within the displays are on a timer, automatically turning on at 5 pm and turning off shortly after closing, which is at 10 pm. The lights display is available for viewing the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 27. and runs through to Dec. 27. Donations are also accepted during the event, which is held at 1000 Ray Moses Drive, in Aurora, hence the name ‘Aurora Festival of Lights.’ Buses are also able to drive through this light show, with admission also being free.