Kentucky Horse Park prepares for Southern Lights - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Horse Park prepares for Southern Lights

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Believe it or not, the holidays are almost here. Every year, the Kentucky Horse Park draws tens of thousands of visitors for its annual Southern Lights show. Work is currently underway, behind the scenes, even before the first guest steps foot inside.

They're the essence of the season. Dazzling displays for miles are considered holiday tradition.

"Since '96, I've been coming here to see the lights and now I actually put them up," said maintenance supervisor Billy Flannery.

Before the lights can start twinkling, a team takes on the daunting task.

"Every September, we know what is coming: Christmas lights," Flannery said. "It is quite an undertaking."

Flannery and his crew will put up more than 200 displays at the Kentucky Horse Park. That's about 200,000 bulbs, in total.

"After a while, they all start to blend together," he said.

Southern Lights began 23 years ago.

"We realized other parks were utilizing their facilities off-season and we came up with this," said Cabby Boone, board chair for the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation.

It's now one of the largest fundraisers for the Kentucky Horse Park. From zoo animals to starting gates, it's all there.

"That's really the fun part: to bring the horse park horses into the displays for Christmas," Boone said.

It's a lot of work over the summertime and fall.

"I enjoy it, because when I was a kid, I always enjoyed coming out here and seeing the lights," Boone added. "So, when I think about that, it's not that bad. You just do it for the little kids. Right Charlie? We're doing this for the kids, right?"

It's all part of an effort to deliver a whimsical wonderland to guests.

"There's something for everybody. Whether you're a 2-year-old, a 10-year-old or an 85-year-old, or even a young couple dating, come on out," Boone said. "It's only a 50-minute drive from Louisville. We'd love to have you."

Southern Lights begins Nov. 18 and continues through Dec. 31. Following the display route, guests are invited have their picture taken with Santa Claus, visit a petting zoo, enjoy crafts, see a mini express train, and enjoy live entertainment with food and beverages.

For more information on times and admission, CLICK HERE.

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