“The ultimate goal is to make this a family tradition, and that every year people look forward to going shopping in Miami County, going out to eat at our restaurants and then coming to see the lights,” said J. Scott Myers, Miami County Park District executive director. “We hope this will be something the kids remember one day.”
Lost Creek Reserve & Knoop Agricultural Heritage Center is a 456-acre working farm, part of the county park district, that has been open to the public since 2008 with more than three miles of hiking trails, plus special events and programs. It is also the location of the park district's administrative offices. The 1883 Victorian farmhouse and barns on-site, known as the Knoop Homestead, previously belonged to the Knoop family for five generations. The Knoop family helped shape the county's rich agricultural history.
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WHAT TO EXPECT
The driving route that spans approximately 1.25 miles will include more than 50 light displays, including a reindeer at a waterfall, snowflakes, snowmen, illuminated trees and more. More than half of the displays are animated.
The tour should take about 15 to 20 minutes and will take guests beside the woods, behind the woods and through the woods. The tour ends as guests emerge from the woods and view the historic homestead and barns aglow for the holidays, Myers explained.
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Tune into Troy Community Radio (107.1 FM) to enjoy Christmas music during the tour, as well as important messages, Myers said.
This new holiday attraction should offer something special for Troy, Miami County and visitors, Myers said. The closest drive-through light tour to Troy is approximately 40 miles away.
Organizers hope to see the display continue to grow after its inaugural season.
“We are optimistic that this event will add to the economic and tourism benefit of the county,” Myers said.
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FROM IDEA TO REALITY
“This is something we’ve been wanting to do for years,” Myers said.
In past years, the park district hosted special holiday light single-night events at Charleston Falls near Tipp City. That event became so popular, the park district couldn’t accommodate the demand or the logistics at that location. But members of the community expressed a desire for a multi-night holiday event.
Over the course of the last year, the park district worked in collaboration with the Visitor’s Bureau, the Troy Foundation, businesses, electric and lighting professionals and sponsors to create a longer-term drive-through display at Lost Creek. Park District staff worked with Hamilton County’s park district to learn how its display at Sharon Woods comes together.
One-time setup costs for permanent service drives and electric upgrades were made through park district funds, and donations covered the purchase cost of the lights. Entry fees will support operational costs.
Local nonprofits, service organizations and youth organizations will also benefit as they will have the opportunity to volunteer at the event and receive a donation from the proceeds, Myers said.
The Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve was made possible through a $75,000 Troy Foundation grant and sponsorships from Bruns Realty Group, the Miami County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Key Ads, French Oil Mill Machinery Company, VPP Industries and Unity National Bank.
WANT TO GO?
What: Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve
Where: Lost Creek Reserve, 2385 E. State Route 41, Troy
When: Open Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 29
Cost: $10 for cars and $30 for 15-passenger vans
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