MARYSVILLE – A smooth ride is just one of the improvements the 8th Annual Tour of Lights will have this year.
The city evened out the golf cart paths at Cedarcrest Golf Course, which hosts the event.
Tours start Dec. 7 and run on 10 different nights through the 22nd.
Donations are desired but if someone really can’t afford it they can ride for free, parks director Jim Ballew said Tuesday.
Parks maintenance manager Mike Robinson, who designs the tour, said there are 58 displays this year. A new trend, they said, was instead of donating money for the city to buy stuff, sponsors are now buying entire displays. For example, new this year is the Elf Excavator donated by Reece Construction and Flash the Dog and House donated by Real Estate Rockstars.
Riders also will pass through Polar Bear Forest, Minion Village, March of the Penguins and other displays. Enjoy music elements at the “Depot Train Station” and Santa’s Workshop and you may even get to visit with Santa. Returning to take visitors on their tours are the Noon Rotary Trains, which have now been donated to the city. There are four trains with up to five cars each. Every car can hold a family of five. Each tour takes about 20 minutes. About 20 people have volunteered to drive the carts.
Ballew said about 500 people ride each night. He suggests coming early and being prepared to stand in line for a while. If you’re running late, make sure to call the Pro Shop to see if there are any tickets left, he added.
Visitors also can enjoy free cocoa and roast marshmellows at a bonfire. Ballew said the event is becoming so popular people drive over from Eastern Washington and stay overnight. “People come from out of town to do this,” he said.
It’s also so popular that Premier Golf, which operates the course, is trying to get some of its other courses to do it, since December is always a slow time for golfing. “It’s a great fund-raiser,” Ballew said.
•Open 5:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 7-8, Dec. 12-15 and Dec. 19-22.
•Get tickets at Pro Shop, first-come, first served. Phone 360-363-8460.
•Suggested donation is $5 per adult, $3 per youth or $20 for the family. •Cedarcrest Golf Course is located at 6810 84th St. N.E.