Fantasy of Lights brings Christmas spirit to Lighthouse Point
Published 9:04 pm, Friday, November 17, 2017
NEW HAVEN — Paige Snyder of Indianapolis, the first visitor to the Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Point Park, got a surprise dose of Christmas spirit Friday.
Snyder, who’s lived in New Haven for three months as a traveling nurse, “didn’t even realize there was a light show. I came for the sunset,” she said as she left the annual display put on by Goodwill of Southern New England and 700 volunteers, including several area unions.
But the Christmas light display wasn’t the only surprise awaiting Snyder. In addition to Santa and the reindeer, “at the end here there were some real deer running across the road,” she said. “It was great. It was very festive. It got me in the Christmas mood.”
Asked what she would tell people thinking about coming to the annual show, Olivia Nowacki, 8, of Hamden, said, “I think that I would definitely tell them it just seems like you’re driving through a special gate to the North Pole. All the lights are really bright.”
Olivia and her sister Eleanore, 10, were already in the Christmas spirit. They said they started playing Christmas music on Nov. 1.
The Rev. Timothy Meehan of St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church said he drives through the display, most of which is lit with LED lights, each year. “They do a great job,” he said. “Each year it’s just a little bit better and a little more creative. It’s very, very enjoyable and a great spot for families.”
Melissa Nicholson, special events manager for Goodwill, which recently changed its name from Easter Seals Goodwill Industries, said more than 15,000 cars will wend their way through the park before the display closes on Dec. 31. She said one of the new sponsors this year was a family that donated $600 and dedicated one of the displays to the memory of their grandmother, Anne Saddig.
The Fantasy of Lights is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for a car or family van, $25 for a mini-bus and $50 for a full-size bus.
Goodwill of Southern New England serves people with disabilities with support for employment, education, social and recreational opportunities.
Contact Ed Stannard at email@example.com or 203-680-9382.