By Kylie Heisz, Emmy Wolfe, & Kayla Smith
It’s the holiday season and a way to spend a night is to through the Garden of Lights at Green Bay’s Botanical Garden.
The Garden of the Lights was first brought to Green Bay in 1997, and since then, there has been a lights display every year. The Garden of Lights is celebrating 25 years this year. When the exhibit first opened, there were only a couple of displays, and no more than 100,000 lights were used. There can be more than 300,000 lights used to create a garden-themed winter lights display in today’s exhibit. This year’s exhibit featured a new light show with spotlight sources surrounding the edge of the pond. They were synced to popular music and Christmas songs and created a light show on the pond and skyline. Patrons could be found enjoying the show through all of the songs “it was a family favorite for sure. I like that they added it this year!” said one of the guests enjoying the new exhibit.
Workers have worked hard to ensure that all the displays are set up in time and built to last the element. The frames are built as early as May but not until October. They ensured that all the light displays would be ready in time for opening weekend, the weekend following Thanksgiving. Seeing the magical lights is fun for people of all ages. Some visitors we talked to this was their first time at the Garden of Lights, while others have been coming for many years. A family in front of us commented, “I didn’t know what to expect coming in, but turning every corner was something new and different! Seeing some of the lights moves was so cool.”
Even though the light displays are themed to match the garden concept, it still feels like visitors are walking through a winter wonderland and can put even the grinchiest of people in the holiday spirit. One of the guests continued, “Even though there wasn’t much snow on the ground, walking through all the lights made it feel like a winter wonderland. Seeing the new light show over the pond was so cool, great for families. Kids around us loved it so much!” Tickets can be purchased through the Green Bay Botanical Garden’s website, providing a calendar with peak nights and the pricing list. Timed slots are required and are scanned before entry to prevent a blockage on the trail. This light display is a great way for families to spend quality time together and allows the surrounding community to join together on holiday.