Magic of Lights at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds features vivid displays, abundant holiday spirit
Courtesy of Cleveland.com

MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio – Magic of Lights returns to the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 19201 E. Bagley Road, each night from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 4. The driving tour features more than a mile of sparkling displays. Patrons can also stretch their legs at Holiday Village, which provides a wide variety of activities.

Admission for standard vehicles is $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Limousines and party buses can enter for $40 in advance and $50 at the gate. The tour can also accommodate large buses at $80 in advance and $100 at the gate.

The display opened on the windswept Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and still drew around 150 vehicles. Dudley Taw, working an information booth in Holiday Village, said weekends are particularly lively. “It’s always packed. There are cars all the way to (Interstate) 71.” Nonetheless, added Taw, “Everyone’s got a smile on their face.”

According to Brett Pegler, marketing manager with FunGuys LLC, the Medina-based company that stages the holiday event, approximately 80,000 people attended last year’s display at the fairgrounds. Recent additions to the offerings may bring in even more customers.

Heidi Morgan of Cleveland visited Thursday with her two young grandchildren. Morgan explained, “Last Thanksgiving I brought them here, so I am making it a tradition. We love it. They love it. I love it.”

Joe Tomsik and his wife drove from Wellington to see the display. The couple thoroughly enjoyed the lights and picked up a few gifts in Holiday Village. “We will be back next year, most definitely,” remarked Tomsik.

David Willis of Cleveland warmed up with hot chocolate while his girlfriend shopped in Holiday Village. The couple were both first-time visitors. “We were just looking for something to do tonight, but we’ve been really blown away.” Willis said he plans to return this season with other friends and family.

The driving tour winds through LED and digital displays including a snowflake forest, the reindeer crossing, a 200-foot tunnel of lights, animated snowmen, elves, poinsettias, a fire-breathing dragon, nativity scenes, seasonal characters and much more.

At the midpoint of the journey, visitors can choose to visit Holiday Village. Outside the building is a 40-foot lighted tunnel synchronized to the sounds of the season, which makes for a memorable stroll or an interesting photo. Once inside, patrons can partake of various displays, a merchandise area, snacks and warm beverages, professional photos with Santa (for a fee) and countless other activities.

A portion of the proceeds from Magic of Lights goes to area charities. Beneficiaries include the Lebron James Family Foundation, Coats for Kids and the Cuyahoga Farm Bureau Scholarship Fund. In addition, Thursday visitors can earn $5 off admission by donating a new or gently used coat to Coats for Kids. A portion of the proceeds from Thursday Santa photos also benefits Coats for Kids.