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Holiday Lights Will Shine Brightly in Kentucky

Enliven your holiday experience with dazzling lights displays that will delight young and old alike.

Among the brightest lights displays around Kentucky are Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Lights under Louisville at the Mega Cavern, Winter Wonderland of Lights in Ashland, Light up the Levee in Newport and the Grand Rivers Festival of Lights. 

Southern Lights, an extravaganza of colorful lights and animated figures now in its 20th year, has become a holiday favorite in central Kentucky. It features spectacular holiday displays as well as customized representations of the Bluegrass State. A charitable event presented by the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, Southern Lights provides proceeds to help support the activities of the Horse Park year round.

The popular holiday event, chosen as a Top 100 event for 2013 by the American Bus Association, is an opportunity to share an experience with families, friends and visitors outside of the everyday routine. An added benefit is that it offers guests a chance to explore the Horse Park at a time of day most people don't normally get to visit.

Southern Lights is open to the public each evening from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.  November 22 through December 31. The attraction accommodates cars, vans, limousines, mini-buses, school buses and motor coaches.

Want to see the lights up close and personal? On the evening of November 21, prior to the opening of the Southern Lights driving experience, a 5K race and fun walk called the Southern Lights Stroll offers your only opportunity to view the lights on foot.

At the end of the driving route, you can experience indoor attractions that promise fun for the whole family, including a petting zoo, camel rides, pony rides, seasonal entertainment and the Mini-Train Express. Need to cross a few presents off your list? Holiday and craft vendors will be on hand along with refreshments, too. The indoor attractions are open each night, with the exception of Thanksgiving (November 28) and December 24 to 31.

For more information, including admission prices for Southern Lights or registration for the Stroll, visitwww.southernlightsky.org,  www.kyhorsepark.com or call (800) 678-8813.

Looking for still more holiday excitement? Then head over to the Louisville Mega Cavern for Lights under Louisville.

During the Christmas season, the Louisville Mega Cavern, a 100 acre limestone cavern that runs underneath the Louisville Zoo and was actively mined from the 1930s through the 1970s, is transformed into a dazzling holiday spectacle of lights. Touted as the only show of its kind, Lights under Louisville treats visitors in their own cars to a 30 to 40 minute underground ride that features more than 2 million points of light.

Lights under Louisville is open to the public November 15 through January 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 5 p.m.  to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For admission prices, reservations or more information, visitwww.louisvillemegacavern.com or call (877) 614-6342.

Meanwhile, eastern Kentucky has its own celebration that lights up Central Park in downtown Ashland for five weeks beginning November 18.  The 52 acre park will be ablaze with 50 magical holiday displays and more than 800,000 lights. Take the kids for a train ride on the Winter Wonderland Express and visit with Santa at Ashland’s oldest home, located in the park.  For more information, visit www.winterwonderlandoflights.com  or call (606) 324-5111.

In western Kentucky, the Grand Rivers Festival of Lights includes more than 700,000 lights in Patti's 1880s Settlement and downtown Grand Rivers on Kentucky Lake. The Festival of Lights continues through the first week of January. For more information, visit their website or call (888) 736-2515.

In Newport, Light up the Levee’s 1.2 million lights transform the Newport on the Levee shopping and entertainment complex into a festive holiday attraction. Synchronized with holiday music, the lights are complemented by a 30-foot Christmas tree with a six-foot topper of the Star of Bethlehem, 10- and 20-foot spiral trees, five-foot snowflakes, wreaths and more. Animated light shows run daily November 18 through January 2. Visithttp://www.newportonthelevee.com/events/details.aspx?id=784 or call (859) 891-2550.