Liverpool, NY (NCC News) For 34 years, the annual Lights on the Lake display has lit up Onondaga Lake Park throughout the holiday season. Not only is the two mile stretch of lights a staple for the community, but it has now been recognized on a national level. Country Living Magazine placed Lights on the Lake #8 on a list of the top 35 light shows in the United States.
“Oh my gosh, it really meant the world to us,” said Morgan Bicknell, the Event Coordinator for Galaxy Media and Lights on Lake of the honor. Galaxy Media is responsible for the planning of the event and managed the setting up of the lights themselves. With a start date of November 13th, lights began setting up in Onondaga Lake Park back in September.
Bicknell’s main task this year was to build a Winter Welcome Guide on the website, ensuring it was accessible for all community members looking to attend.
“I mean Lights on the Lake is all about bringing the community together and making all these traditions and memories with families so sharing this with more than just the Syracuse community really meant a lot to us,” said Bicknell.
Bicknell said she has many memories of going to the light show while growing up. “It was a dream to work here as a kid, and now that I’ve been here for almost a year, I feel even more excited about it!”
In the top 10, Lights on the Lake is the cheapest option by far, as many of the other options are over $40 for a drive-thru show. By keeping the price to $10 on weekdays and $20 on weekends, the light show is more accessible for the community.
“We want to make sure that all of our events are affordable for our local families so that’s definitely something we keep in mind when planning these events,” said Bicknell.
Kamar Waller, age 10, was excited to go to Lights on the Lake as there aren’t a lot of holiday lights near his house. Waller’s 5th grade class went to the light show on a field trip and he was thrilled. “I was excited, my class was like ‘Let’s go, yeah! We get to go to lights on the lake!…W[in] for the class!’” Said Waller.
This year, there is a brand-new light display – Santa, Mrs. Clause, and their elves playing pickleball in the “World of Sports” section. This is in honor of the 12 pickleball courts that just opened up in the park this past August. There are also several new Christmas trees!
Lights on the Lake extended their stay until January 12th with all proceeds from the additional 5 days going directly to 5 local charities. These charities include Second Chance Canine Adoption Center, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, LAUNCH, the student-run Bailey’s Boutique, and Saint Patrick’s Hungry People.
Bicknell said the traditions are what makes the hard work worth it and told one story she saw on social media. “One couple came to Lights on the Lake for their first date, then they returned the next year and the boyfriend proposed, and then they came back a few years later with their kids!”
Hopefully, the Onondaga Lake Park light show will continue to light up the lives of community members for many years to come.