Above: A family walks through a lighted tunnel at Azalea Park last year. Below: Lighted metal sculptures fill the park’s amphitheater.
After three weekends of hard work by dozens of volunteers, Nature’s Coastal Holiday is ready to open for the 19th year at Brookings’ Azalea Park Friday.
The popular holiday light display attracted more than 12,000 visitors last year, drawing from Eureka, Medford and Coos Bay.
The display will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 25, weather permitting. The suggested donation to enter the display is $1, with children 12 and younger allowed in for free.
Santa is scheduled to visit on Dec. 18-19 and Dec. 23-24. Cookies and hot apple cider and hot chocolate will be served at the snack shack and donations are welcome.
New attractions this year include a remodeled walkthrough archway, which leads visitors from the snack shack to the Capella by the Sea. Volunteers also set up “Happy Holidays” signs at both ends of town.
Bell-shaped lighted structures have also been placed in front of businesses along Chetco Avenue.
Also new this year is a designated area for snapping photos, said Nature’s Coastal Holiday committee member Lorie Botnen. Visitors are encouraged to use the area, near the snack shack, to take photos, instead of stopping on the path to do so.
The new area, Botnen said, is a new safety and convenience measure to address some issues that occurred last year.
“People tend to stop on the path and take photos,” Botnen said, “And it kind of backs everyone up.”
Children were also leaving the path and climbing on sculptures, which, with the electrical wires and lights, presents safety hazards. Botnen said the committee hopes that having a photo area will combat that problem.
Nature’s Coastal Holiday will feature plenty of old favorites, such as lighted sculptures of elk, whales and deer. The city’s Public Works department will set up the sculptures this week.
Botnen said the show came together with the help of several groups of volunteers.
“The Brookings-Harbor Lions Club and the Curry County Cruisers both had a bunch of volunteers,” Botnen said.
Rogue Credit Union and the Brookings-Harbor High School and Azalea wrestling teams also helped with setup, as did many individual volunteers, she said.
For more information visit www.naturescoastalholiday.com or the event’s Facebook page.