CALDWELL — Caldwell’s annual Winter Wonderland display is hitting a milestone this year after the city installed more than 1 million LED lights, which will illuminate a tree and six blocks downtown along Indian Creek Park for the holidays.
A fire-breathing dragon, giant rocket, fishing Santa and teddy bear carousel will be among the attractions when the lights are switched on at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, during the Winter Wonderland Festival. The event is free to attend, according to a press release from the city.
“The display of Winter Wonderland is truly like no other in the Treasure Valley, let alone the Western United States,” Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas said in the release. “It’s spectacular to see families enjoying the lights, time together and the community coming together each year. It’s what Caldwell is all about.”
Caldwell started the holiday light display in 2007 with 20,000 lights.
Now the annual tradition has grown to more than 1 million LED lights — an increase of 200,000 lights over last year — and dozens of one-of-a-kind light installations.
The Caldwell Street Department creates attractions including a fire-breathing dragon, Santa fishing on the creek, a teddy bear carousel and five new additions, such as a giant rocket.
In addition to the tree and creek lighting, the Winter Wonderland Festival offers family-friendly activities throughout downtown from 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 22.
Indian Creek Plaza will host free pictures with Santa. Skating will be open on the ice ribbon and rink ($10 for those 13 and older; $8.50 for 4- to 12-year-olds; and $4 for those 3 and younger, according to the plaza website).
Characters from “Frozen 2,” including Elsa, Anna and a live reindeer Sven, will hold a meet-and-greet at The Luxe Reel Theatre, 913 Arthur St., from 6 to 9 p.m.
Carolers, choirs and big bands will perform holiday music throughout downtown. A food court and market will be at Main Street and Seventh Avenue. Caldwell’s historic train depot and downtown businesses and restaurants will be open.
City officials encourage drivers to park at the O’Connor Field House, also known as the Caldwell Events Center, at 2207 Blaine St., and take the free shuttle provided by the nonprofit Metro Community Services to downtown Caldwell’s Luxe Reel Theatre. Free shuttles will run every few minutes from 5:30 to 10 p.m.
The free light display can be found from Fifth to 11th avenues and between Arthur and Blaine streets.
The lights will stay on nightly through Jan. 15. For more information about the festival, visit IndianCreekPlaza.com.