Drive-thru light festivals illuminate the holiday season

Holiday observances this year are more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but you can still celebrate the season from the safety and comfort of your car with a drive-thru light show at a West Virginia state park.

Christmas in the Park

An annual tradition in southern West Virginia since 1994, Christmas in the Park features hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights that illuminate a 2-plus mile journey through Chief Logan State Park. The light show is free but donations are welcomed to help pay for electricity and maintenance.

You can even plan to do a little Christmas shopping while you’re there. Chief Logan’s gift shop is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday during Christmas in the Park.

The light display is open nightly through Dec. 31. Visitors who wish to tour the lights are advised to use the park entrance on W.Va. 10 in Justice Addition.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

The campground may be closed for the season at Cedar Creek State Park, but there is still a great reason to visit this Gilmer County setting. The park foundation will debut a drive-thru light display the weekend of Dec. 11-12. The park’s 14 miles of hiking trails featuring scenic lake views are open year-round.

Come visit the Christmas Shoppe and stay for the lights at Hawks Nest State Park. Located at the Historic Area by the roadside overlook, the seasonally operated store features ornaments and West Virginia souvenirs. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At dark, festive displays will light up the Midland Trail (U.S. 60), greeting motorists passing through the New River Gorge.

It’s an old-fashioned Christmas at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. The historic town of Cass is illuminated with holiday lights during December. The lights showcase the company houses, which now serve as the park’s guest cottages, that were built for lumber workers in the early 1900s.

Safety measures

Park lodges and most guest cabins remain open year-round. Please note that per mandate by Governor Jim Justice, masks or other face coverings must be worn at all times at indoor public spaces. The number of patrons permitted inside gift shops and restaurants at one time may be limited as well.

West Virginia State Parks wishes you a happy and safe holiday season!

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