The holiday’s Journey Borealis returns to Pyramid Hill in Hamilton this year: What to know

Journey Borealis drive-thru holiday light display at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Journey Borealis drive-thru holiday light display at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hamilton residents can enjoy it free on Tuesday evenings.

Starting Nov. 19, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum will present Journey Borealis: A Journey to the North Pole. Featuring local artists Brave Berlin and Sam Dorgan, the holiday light display will be open through Jan 2.

“This is a longstanding tradition that many families look forward to every year, and we continue to try to make it bigger and better, and make a stronger connection to our community,” said Bryan Knicely, executive director at Pyramid Hill.

Hamilton residents can enjoy Journey Borealis free on any Tuesday evening. Proof of residency is required to qualify for free admission, including a valid driver’s license or a recent utility bill with the address displayed.

“We know people are still looking for activities to get out and about without having to go inside, so we think this is a perfect opportunity for families to get in their cars, come out, and check out the light show, listen to the music in their cars as they drive through the show, and really get excited about the holidays,” Knicely said

Journey Borealis (www.journeyborealis.com) is an artful adventure that invites visitors on a magical journey to the North Pole as they drive through the 2-5-mile attraction with more than a million lights.

“We’ve taken the show to another level this year, and I’m excited for people to experience it. So, visitors will get to see more themed areas within the park, and they are going to love the soundtrack,” “said Jessica Lehmann, Journey Borealis project manager at Pyramid Hill.

There will be a change at the entrance, which will help the traffic flow. The gatehouse has been moved further into the park, which will alleviate the traffic backup on Ohio State Route 128. The entrance location will remain the same.

“We have moved our gatehouse and created a more efficient process for people to get into the park on our busy nights, which are Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays,” Lehmann said.

The route has also been expanded, based on feedback from a guest survey, so there will be less two-way traffic and congestion inside the park.

Visitors will start with the illuminated drive-through with the trees and arches at the beginning like last year. Then, the display will honor Jerusalem with a blue and white light display, which also celebrates Hanukkah.

Next, visitors will enter Germany’s Candy Cane Forest, where there will be more than 50 treesyarn-bombed in red and white, and lit up. After that, visitors will enter The Grinch’s Greenland, where they will go through a new 80-foot LED light tunnel with two Grinch figures hidden in the forest that kids can look for. Following that, visitors will enter Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Jesus with a nativity and projection art by local artist Sam Dorgan.

The famed Swan Lake is a popular highlight that hasn’t changed. The Pyramid House will be re-lit this year, and the beloved ice-skating rink will return.

“We’ve kept the nostalgia of previous years, but also added to having a more concrete theme within each area, so after they pass through Bethlehem, they will enter the North Pole,” Lehmann said.

Journey Borealis will also be accompanied by a musical soundtrack from the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra and Cincinnati Boychoir will be featured on two of the tracks. The soundtrack is available on Otocast app, which can be downloaded in the Apple or Google Play app store for free.

“Last year was a record-breaking year with our attendance to Journey Borealis. We had over 50,000 people come to visit,” said Lehmann. “A lot of it had to do with the re-branding and the excitement behind including Brave Berlin, the creators of Blink Cincinnati, who will also be featured this year.”

“Brave Berlin will do a spectacular transformation of our pavilion into Santa’s Workshop, where there will be video projections of working elves being revealed in Santa’s Workshop,” she said.

Journey Borealis will be open from Monday through Thursday 6-9 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 6-10 p.m. Regular admission prices per carload are $15 every night for Pyramid Hill members. Non-members are $20 per carload Monday through Thursday and $25 per carload on Friday through Sunday. For more details, visit www.journeyborealis.com. The cost of a Pyramid Hill membership is $45 (up to five family members.)

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