Missing the Osbournes . . . Enjoying Bright Nights

23 Dec
This is the first Christmas in several years that I haven’t visited Walt Disney World, and boy have I been missing the Osbourne Lights! So, Friday night we took our second family trip out to Springfield, Massachusetts, and visited the Bright Nights at Forest Park, a driving tour of light displays set up in a city park. From their web site:

Now entering its 12th season, “Bright Nights at Forest Park” is New England’s single most popular holiday destination, with an enormous impact on tourism in the Pioneer Valley. Area accommodations, attractions and restaurants have been quick to recognize the value of the event, and many have partnered with event organizer, Spirit of Springfield in offering packages to tourists.

In 2002, 698 tour buses and 43,083 cars came through “Bright Nights at Forest Park,” with the passengers eating meals, staying in hotels, and visiting other area attractions before and after their visit to the park. Total event attendance is estimated at 1.7 million.

I’d recommend it to anybody who enjoys holiday lights, and especially Massachusetts Disney fans suffering from a little Osbourne withdrawal. It’s only $18 for a carload of people, you can easily bring your own hot cocoa, and since it’s New England the snowflakes don’t taste like soap bubbles!

As we drove through, the special Bright Nights radio program mentioned that Bright Nights is the number 3 “lighting event” in the United States. Suffice it to say I immediately wondered if the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights is number one. . . but Mr Broke Hoedown was a bit more practical (and a lot less Disney obsessed), and wondered a bit skeptically about who is keeping such a list, and with what criteria? Google doesn’t seem to be my friend on this topic . . . if anybody has a clue please point me in the right direction.

Pal Mickey felt right at home when we saw Peter Pan in a few of the displays. The lights were hard to photograph from a moving car, but I managed to snap one picture of Peter and Wendy flying through the night sky with some gifts. (I hadn’t been so lucky with the camera when we’d driven by Captain Hook earlier, who was being chased by his old pal the crocodile.)

Maybe I’ll make it to the Osbournes again next year . . . but I know for sure that Bright Nights is a new family tradition for us!

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