The drive-thru holiday lights show in Evergreen Park in Sheboygan is open every night now until December 31, except Christmas Eve.
SHEBOYGAN, WI—December 3, 2019— While the holidays can become hectic, make sure to take time to drive through the Making Spirits Bright holiday lights show. The event, which runs now through December 31 at Evergreen Park in Sheboygan, is filled with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights displays that are choreographed to music aired on a vehicle’s radio.
Making Spirits Bright is open to the public from 5:00 to 9:00 PM every night from November 29 through December 31 (closed Christmas Eve, December 24). So there are 32 total nights to drive the route.
This is the event’s eighth year and each one gets bigger and better. It all began with members of the Sheboygan County Rotary Clubs as a means to spread holiday cheer in combination with doing good for the community. While entrance to Making Sprits Bright is free, pantry item donations are requested. All donated items are delivered to the Sheboygan County Food Bank each night and their volunteers disburse to food pantries throughout the county. The donations come at a time when need is the greatest so the Making Spirits Bright event has been important for so many people. The grand total of pantry items donated over the past seven years is almost 474,000 pounds - that’s about 237 tons!
While people immediately think of canned goods when hearing the words “food drive” please also consider donating personal care items which typically run low at the food pantries. These may include shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, tissue and toilet paper, diapers, and baby wipes. For those who prefer to contribute food, here are some of the most requested items: canned tuna or chicken, peanut butter, rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereal, pancake mix, and canned fruits. Please also watch expiration dates of donated items.
Visitors to Making Spirits Bright may also choose to contribute a monetary donation at the completion of the route. These funds support the building and refurbishing of displays and other costs associated with this incredible undertaking. A portion of monies collected is also donated to local not-for-profits in exchange for service. Every visitor can receive a complimentary copy of the event booklet from the volunteers in the igloo before exiting the event.
The 1.1 mile route of Making Spirits Bright features lights choreographed to holiday music played on dedicated station 89.1FM on a vehicle’s radio. A sampling of some of the displays is Whoville, Magical Igloo, North Pole Post Office, Northern Lights, and Candyland. The perennial favorites are the Icicle Tunnel, Overhead Stars, and Racing Arches
For those who prefer someone else drive them through the park, or large groups who want to go together, a trolley ride is available. Boarding begins across the street at Quarryview Center every Friday through Sunday night. The trolley leaves every 45 minutes (from 5:15 to 8:15 PM on Fridays and Saturdays and 5:15 to 7:30 PM on Sundays) and is $2 per person with children under one free. The trolley is fully enclosed and features old-fashioned style with modern conveniences. Decorative wooden bench seating and the wood and brass interior recreate riding in a streetcar of yesteryear. The trolley is heated to assure comfort.
Quarryview Center is open every Friday through Sunday from November 29 through December 22, 5:00 to 9:00 PM and offers a variety of options: purchase raffle tickets to enter the drawing to win wreaths specially crafted by professional local designers; enjoy complimentary entertainment from local musicians including instrumentalists, high school and college choirs, vocalists, and more. Concessions such as frosted cookies, brownies, popcorn, hot chocolate, cider, and coffee are for sale. Relaxing with some refreshment in the festive Quarryview setting is a great way to begin or end a Making Spirits Bright evening. The Memory Ornament tree is also found here with a customized ornament for purchase for $15.
One of the most popular attractions at Quarryview Center is Santa. He’s in the ideal setting for capturing an annual holiday photo. Visitors should bring their own camera or phone since volunteers aren’t able to take photos with Santa.
In the seven years that Making Spirits Bright has taken place it has grown in popularity with people from outside Sheboygan County as well. The event has added to the attractions that make Sheboygan County a tourist destination.
There are also many ways to volunteer. The success of the event hinges on hundreds of people who invest thousands of hours. The large scale of Making Spirits Bright means work goes on year-round and there are volunteer options for people of all skill levels and availability of time commitment. For details, visit the Volunteer page of MakingSpiritsBright.com.
Find time to make the drive through Making Spirits Bright and discover a new holiday tradition to excite the spirit while warming the heart through the generosity of contributing pantry item donations to those who really need the help.