Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill will offer guests a holiday light experience that brings art and nature together. The popular attraction will be open for the 2017 season from Nov. 17 through Dec. 31. CONTRIBUTED

Holiday Lights will sparkle again at Pyramid Hill

Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill will offer guests a holiday light experience that brings art and nature together in the 300-acre sculpture park.

“Holiday Lights on the Hill is a little different each year. We decorate with our environment and we take advantage of the sculpture, gardens and trees. So, we are creating those lighting effects and offering a different kind of an experience,” said Director of Park Operations Shaun Higgins, who co-directs the park with Jeni Barton.

Our environment has changed, unfortunately with the Emerald Ash Borer, we’ve lost a lot of trees. So, it’s changed how we set up. We are concentrating on creating different lighting effects and trying to create motion, he said.

“We’re using lights both on the ground and going up the trees and sculpture to create lighting effects in spaces where we used to have trees. It has changed the experience, because the environment has changed around us,” Higgins said.

Holiday Lights on the Hill will feature gardens of light, trees that sparkle up to 60 feet in the air, colorful forests and illuminated sculpture. This is the 16th season for the annual light display.

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“As it gets dark, and all the lights are up, it takes everything else away, and brings a smile to my face, it’s so magical. I’m looking forward to sharing that, and wanting everybody to let go of everything else, shed whatever is weighing you down, and live in the moment of the lights and the magic of the lights,” Higgins said.

A few of the traditional features will include decorated ponds with swans, a skating pond with a sequence of skaters that light up and doves overhead. There’s also a grove of pine trees that will light up in different sequences, called “dancing trees.” Also, children enjoy the giant lighted inflatables in the pavilion.

“It’s so beautiful here. What we have is art and nature together, and we’re building on that to create a holiday light experience,” Higgins said.

Hamilton’s popular drive-through light display will be open nightly from Friday, Nov. 17, through Sunday, Dec. 31. The attraction will open at 6 p.m. each evening.

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Pyramid Hill’s crew begins designing the light display in September. In the drive-through, two-mile round trip, visitors can expect to see light displays close to the road with gardens of light as well as those that go further and deeper into the park’s background and surrounding lakes. The design staff also uses different kinds of lights, including LED lighting, to highlight the park’s various features.

As a non-profit organization, Pyramid Hill’s Holiday Lights on the Hill is a major winter fundraiser for the park. Funds help maintain the 300-plus-acre outdoor sculpture park and the Ancient Sculpture Museum.

“We don’t count individuals, we go by cars, but we’ve estimated 20,000 to 25,000 guests annually,” Higgins said.

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