One of the South Coast's most popular holiday traditions, Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park, began in 1987 when the Friends of Shore Acres thought it would be nice to "string a few lights" to brighten up the place for the holidays. The first year saw 6,000 lights, one tree, and decorations on the Garden House.
Fast forward nearly 30 years to 2016, and now Shore Acres is ablaze from Thanksgiving through New Year's with colored lights with over 325,000 lights, nearly all of them energy-efficient LEDs, displayed in sculptures of the flora and fauna of our region. Trees donated by Dave's Christmas Trees and decorated by local organizations were scattered around the grounds, adding to the festive feel.
The Garden House is also brightly decorated and draws folks in with hot beverages, cookies, and cozy warmth. Throughout the holiday season, various musical groups such as high school bands and the South Coast Community Choir, willperform in the Pavilionand fill the park with music that adds tothe ambiance.
Wandering throughout the grounds, visitors will enjoy lights sculpted in the shapes of pelicans, a breeching Orca, mushrooms, a spouting gray whale, koi carp in the pond, an animated bumble bee and hummingbird, rhododendron, a croaking frog, and so much more! Make sure to plan for at least an hour to walk through and experience all there is to see and hear. The park is best experienced by making two loops throughout the displays, so planning for two hours may actually be most prudent.
When planning a trip to Shore Acres to see the lights, be sure to keep parking in mind. The parking fee is $5, and although there is quite a bit of parking available, on popular evenings, cars are backed up throughout the parking lot and down the road a bit as newcomers are waiting for others to leave their parking spaces.
The trip to Shore Acres to see the holiday lights is well worth the drive and any possible waiting for parking, and this is coming from a blogger who is not typically patient with traffic. Bring the family and your camera, and enjoy an evening of goodies, music, and hundreds of thousands of beautiful lights to bolster your holiday spirits!
The details: Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park 89039 Cape Arago Hwy, Coos Bay Thanksgiving through New Year's from 4-9:30 p.m. Open Christmas Eve, Christmas Nightand New Year's Eve!