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Lights on the Lake kicks off 19th season

Looking for a little holiday cheer? Look no further than Onondaga Lake Park.

The park will once again be alight with some 600,000 holiday lights starting last week. Lights on the Lake kicked off its 19th season with its annual free walk through Monday Nov. 24.

"This is the fourth year for the walk-through," said Robin Augello from Onondaga County Parks. "The Walk Thru Lights was created to promote health and wellness by providing families an opportunity to see Lights on the Lake in a new way."

Cars began to drive through the display Tuesday night. The display will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. every night from Nov. 25 to Jan. 4. Admission is $8 per car ($6 per car on Monday and Tuesday nights with Shoppers Club Card from Wegmans).

This year, joining favorites like the Victorian Village, Under the Sea, Wild World of Sports, Santa's Workshop, Land of Oz, Holiday Circus and Rock Bottom are new LED "Trees of Lights" in the Fantasy Forest.

"New blue and white LED trees have been added to Fantasy Forest to create a more magical feel," Augello said. "[We've also added] a juggling dragon named Cecil in the Grand Finale section."

Lights on the Lake is "the top holiday attraction in Central New York," Augello said. Last year, 35,006 vehicles drove through the park to enjoy the lights. That's the third highest number of vehicles since the display started in 1990 (the most was 36,922 in 2001). Private promoter DIRT Enterprises put together the Holiday Lights exhibition 17 years ago. It included only white lights and the displays, which were stationary, were not much larger than those at surrounding residences. The following year, local businessmen John and Pat Brandano partnered with Onondaga County Parks to put together a larger, more colorful and mobile display.

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