VIDEO: Fantasy of Lights

13th annual festival at Vasona Lake County Park is a hit this year, according to organizers.

Hundreds of cars full of happy children, parents and average folk celebrating the holidays waited for more than one hour Sunday evening for admission to the 13th annual Fantasy of Lights at

Instead of going to the movies, or staying home to continue their Christmas celebrations, the popular display continued to attract many vehicles full of holiday revelers willing to pay $15 to enter the extravaganza, according to organizers.

Turning off their headlights and tuning their car radios to 104.1 FM to listen to holiday music, the processional moved along slowly, but the multi-colored, twinkling magic didn't disappoint.

"It's been busy ever since the start, especially over the last two weeks," said one of the brave event workers collecting money from drivers as they entered the park. The weekend before Christmas, however, was busier, he said.

Reason for waiting so long for admission into the park was due to the crawling speed of cars traveling the 1.5-mile distance of the lights display, many attributing it to the beauty of the lit-up images.

"Everyone is driving through really slowly so it kind of makes everything else go snail-pace," he said.

An approximate half-mile long line of cars waited along Winchester Boulevard, turning right on Lark and University avenues, then left on Blossom Hill Road to finally reach the Vasona Lake County Park entrance.

It didn't matter, though. Every participant seemed delighted with the show, which has been running 6-10 p.m., since Friday, Nov. 25 and ends Saturday, Dec. 31.

Put on by the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department, Fantasy of Lights is said to be the premier holiday lights spectacular in Northern California.

It features animated larger-than-life displays, many with their own sound effects such as those made by dinosaurs and an erupting volcano. Also fun to watch were the sponsoring business signs that were delineated with multi-color lights. Ethnic media signs were prevalent during the display such as those from El Observador, Viet Nam Daily News, Telemundo and Radio La Kalle.

Admission is $15 per vehicle with up to nine guests and $25 per vehicle with between 10 and 25 guests. It's $50 for commercial buses.

This year, the event also featured so-called Reindeer Express bus tours for those tired of waiting in the long line.

MichaelJ December 27, 2011 at 03:04 PM
My family went there on Christmas eve and it was packed. It took about 40 mins. to get into the park but it was worth it!! People were courteous and considering the hundreds of cars in the park at one time, very well behaved. This is a must if you have children and for people of all ages. When they tell you "Turn off your lights" when you enter the park, it is for a reason. I saw about a third of the cars with lights/parking lights on and that spoils the experience for everyone. Kudos to the volunteers who braved he cold and helped all of us have a wonderful experience.
Sheila Sanchez December 27, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Thanks for the comment, MichaelJ. I loved it, but then again I love holiday lights. Agree about cars leaving their lights on. Thanks for commenting and using the site! What else have you enjoyed around Los Gatos this holiday season?
Tamara December 29, 2011 at 12:12 AM
This year’s attendance well exceeds our expectations. It’s a wonderfully lit show that uses more LED lights than ever before. This is the last week to come out and enjoy the light show, Everyone have a happy New Year!
Sheila Sanchez December 29, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Thanks for the comment, Tamara! We loved it and good to know about the LED lights. Anything to save the environment is a great thing! Happy New Year to you, too. If you can, email me final attendance numbers next week. Thanks for putting on a great show that "highlights" the Town of Los Gatos!


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