Thursday, November 10, 2022

Lighting up

County holiday display to open next Thursday

The Wayne County Lightfest, a magical four-mile stretch of Hines Park, displaying nearly 50 animated themed displays and more than 100,000 lights, will open for the holiday season next Thursday, Nov. 17 with a special Lights On ceremony at 6 p.m. at Merriman Hollow Park. 

The display will then be open from 6 until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday until Saturday, Dec. 24. The Lightfest is closed Monday and Tuesday evenings. Wayne County officials noted that the overwhelming response to the Lightfest last year may increase wait times may be longer than normal on weekends.

The entrance to the Lightfest is 7651 North Merriman Road, which is on Merriman between Ann Arbor Trail and Warren Avenue in Westland, 2 1/2 miles south of I-96.

A special Bike Through the Lights event is planned for 7 p.m. Nov. 15. Bike riders will bike to the Warrendale Picnic Area and back (16K). Participants can turn around at any point and all participants will receive a 2022 Lightfest hat, bike light and post event snacks. All riders must wear a helmet and have a light due to two-way bike traffic.

The ride will start and finish at Merriman Hollow Park at the corner of Merriman Road and Hines Drive. Hines Drive will be closed to traffic during the event. Pre-registration for the bike ride is required at (734) 261-1990. 

This year, Wayne County will offer radio alerts to update visitors with important show information. By tuning into AM 1640 within three to five miles of the Lightfest entrance, visitors can receive regular updates on wait times, traffic flow, special events and event costs. Visitors can make a stop at Perrin Park, mid-way through the show, to drop off a letter to Santa in the giant mailbox , patronize two food trucks and visit the restroom.

During the Lightfest, Hines Drive from Ann Arbor Trial to Outer Drive will be closed to traffic from 5 until 11:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday for set-up and operations. Toy Night, which allows visitors to donate a new, unwrapped toy in lieu of paying the car entrance fee, will take place on Wednesdays, Nov. 23 and 30 and on Dec. 7. Commercial vehicles will not be considered for free admission.

Pre-purchase tickets are available at the walk-up window at the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center at 33175 Ann Arbor Trail in Westland from 1 until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets this year are priced at $5 per car, cash only. Pre-paid tickets can be purchased with cash, check or Visa/Mastercard or over the phone with a credit card by calling (734) 261-1990 and tickets will be mailed. In addition to the $5 fee for cars, Lightfest admission for a commercial van/RV/or limo is $20 cash, a mini-bus (20 passenger) is priced at  $25 cash and admission for a 40 passenger bus is $50.

In addition, bus groups can pre-register and pay ahead of time by check, Visa/Mastercard or cash. Call (734) 261-1990 for more information but bus pre-registration must be done at least one week in advance. 

The Lightfest is sponsored this year by: DTE Energy; ITC Holdings, Inc.; Fryz Services, Inc.; Community Alliance Credit Union; Cole, Newton & Duran Certified Public Accountants; Allied Building Services; Consumers Energy; Friends of Wayne County Parks; SMART and Fox 2 News.

For more information, call the number listed above.