When Tom and I are in Ohio we stay at Cross Creek Country Campground. I’ve written about this place before. It is a good place to stay halfway between John and Jackie and my parents. During December it is decorated to the gills with Christmas lights. We get to enjoy the lights every night without putting them up or taking them down. The neighboring state park, Alum Creek, shuts down most of its campground and hosts the annual Festival of Lights. This year the light show has a new owner: Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights.
Butch Bando is the owner of a big concrete company in Delaware. I’m not sure why he bought the light show, but he made some changes this year. Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights has all LED lights. These are brighter and prettier than the previous lights. There are also some new displays, including frogs jumping into Christmas stockings with presents. Many of the displays are the same as previous years with new light emitting diodes.
The hours are also a little different. And, instead of a discount for going early in the season, there is a discount for going on less busy nights. Veterans get a discount on special nights, and active servicemen and their families are free on those special nights.
Tom and I have been walking through Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights during the daytime and noted some of these differences. So we decided to drive through the lights to see them at night. Mom and Dad came down to go with us. We paid $20 for the four of us, but the price is per vehicle, not per person. You can shove as many people into your car as you want. Busses and vans pay a higher price.
We saw some of the same displays we have seen for years. The “Rejoice” and “Peace” displays are two of my favorites and they were beautiful as always. But there are also some new displays. The arches and star street were brilliantly lit up. We took our time and oohed and aahed. I didn’t take too many pictures. I couldn’t roll down the window and I wanted to enjoy them myself instead of seeing them through a camera lens. We enjoyed this show more than the Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo last year because there wasn’t the press of people all around us.
After driving through the lights, most people come over to Cross Creek Campground to see Santa and for hot chocolate and cookies. Cross Creek used to be in charge of the Fantasy of Lights and I think they are enjoying having less responsibility this year. Some of the old light displays are set up at Cross Creek. We enjoy having more lights here “at home.”
If you would like to see Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights, you still have time. The show continues through January 1 although it is closed Christmas Day. Proceeds from the show go to Recreation Unlimited and A Kid Again.