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Night of Lights: Distanced, Festive Fun in Dorothea Dix Park

(The Triangle Trend) — Families all around The Triangle can rejoice over the Winter Wonderland-style fun happening at Dorothea Dix Park from Wednesday, December 16th through Thursday, December 31st.

Located on Umstead Drive in Raleigh, Dorothea Dix Park is known for its open fields, dilapidated buildings, being a great spot for photos, and lovely view of the downtown Raleigh skyline.

2020’s Night of Lights is an opportunity to appreciate beauty beyond the park, however. The event is offering a social-distancing friendly experience for staying safe amid COVID-19. All tickets must be purchased online or via phone call prior to the date of your attendance. The e-tix ticketing call center phone number is 800-514-3849. Ticket scanners will be used to cut out physical contact in exchanges and you won’t be needing any paper tickets to get into this event.

Tickets are $15 per vehicle for cars and pickup trucks and $30 per vehicle for vehicles with 9 or more passengers. Also be sure to factor in the costs of the 10% service fee, 3% credit card fee, and 7.25% sales tax. General admission tickets are available in 30-minute time blocks, and understandably, only a certain number of tickets will be sold for each slot. So, buy yours as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss out. You can enter the Night of Lights Sweepstakes for a chance to win one general admission ticket for one vehicle. Check the link for details.

This event is drive-thru only, and absolutely no walkers or cyclists will be allowed to enter the Night of Lights route. A FAQ, the ticket link, and the map route can be found at

Brought to you by WRAL/Capitol Broadcasting in partnership with the City of Raleigh, you can look forward to “illuminated trees, festive light displays, and local art installations” within a 1.3-mile trail on the night of your visit. The lights are sure to dazzle guests of all ages, so make sure to pile your whole family in the car.

Early birds may need to tame themselves for their time slot arrival, as guests won’t be allowed to enter any time prior to 10 minutes before their time block. This also means you won’t want to be late… since they’re clearly on a strict schedule.

On Dec. 28 and Dec. 29, from 5:30 to 10 PM, Night of Lights will offer discounted tickets.

On the flip side, their “First Night Celebrations” will be pricier than their normal ticket price—and for good reason. Festive touches to welcome in 2021 will include the Raleigh acorn, and while they’re keeping things secret, we’re guessing some fireworks will be thrown into the mix. Those nights are on Dec. 30 from 5:30 to 11 PM and Dec. 31 from 5:30 PM to 12:30 AM. Ticket prices will be $20 per vehicle for cars and pickup trucks and $40 for vehicles with 9 or more passengers.

Bear in mind that vehicles above 10 feet won’t be allowed entry on any night of the event.

Although it’ll be a festive, bright, and colorful night of cheer, be sure that you and other riders in your vehicle don’t exit your vehicle at any point during your drive. Getting out of your car to take pictures or simply stretch your legs is prohibited; a necessary health precaution due to COVID-19. So, make sure to use the bathroom before the show. You can bring food or drinks with you but alcohol won’t be permitted.

Guests are instructed to enter the event at the Hunt Drive entrance off Western Boulevard. You’re asked to use 75 Hunt Drive, Raleigh, NC, 27603 for the most accurate address. Read driving instructions and answers to any questions about the event here.

The entire ride will take about 15 minutes from start-to-finish. The event won’t be canceled due to rain, but be sure to check if more extreme inclement weather is in the forecast.

As you drive the path, tune in to “The Triangle’s Christmas Station MIX 101.5 FM” between 7 – 11 PM each night to enjoy some festive bops.

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Cierra Smith | Editor

Raleigh-born writer passionate about cultural awareness and social change. You’ll typically find me somewhere studying a language, writing, or doing pilates. Consider me a health-conscious foodie with an interest in all diets and lifestyles.

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