WRAL Nights of Lights at Dorothea Dix Park, back for a second year this 2021 holiday season, opens to the public tonight, Friday, November 26. This new Raleigh holiday tradition is a joint effort between WRAL, Capitol Broadcasting Company and the City of Raleigh. WRAL Nights of Lights is the only downtown Raleigh drive-thru holiday light experience.
Taking place inside Dorothea Dix Park, the event aims to provide an opportunity for the community to celebrate the holidays with a family-friendly event. Attendees will enjoy many holiday-themed light installations along a 1.3-mile route including the oaks of Dix Park wrapped in holiday lights.
Back for its second year, Nights of Lights is seeing many improvements in 2021, including reduced car counts and a new light route, including a separate entrance for VIP ticket holders. One bike-only night has taken place, with a second slated for Monday, December 13.
A Biking Adventure
WRAL-TV Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner cycled in the first Bike Night on Sunday, November 21, with a group of her neighborhood friends. Gardner and the crew parked nearby and then rode the greenway on their bikes into Dix Park.
“My friends agreed that it’s great this year,” she said. “The lights are grouped and themed nicely and the route is longer. We loved the neon sculptures especially the Santa Claus at the end.”
Gardener said riding on her bike and seeing the light displays up close was very special.
“Several things are special about bike night,” she said. “Once you get to the end of the route you get to turnaround and do it backwards! You can stop and spend some time soaking in the scene and take photos with your favorite lights. And there’s nothing like ‘biking’ through a winter wonderland! We are definitely doing it again next year.”
Let the Fun Begin
The WRAL Nights of Lights opens to the general public on Friday, November 26, 2021. There are more nights in 2021, almost double those offered in 2020. After the first year last year, WRAL made a number of improvements to the popular event. Fewer cars can purchase tickets in each time window, and there will be two separate entrances this year.
Look out for the large custom neon art installation, the field of elves, made with local artists GLAS especially for Nights of Lights. And look for an expanded CBC footprint; this year Rocky Mount Mills and American Tobacco join CBC village alongside MIX 101.5, WRAL/FOX 50 and the Durham Bulls.
“We are thrilled to return to Dix Park this holiday season with a bigger and better WRAL Nights of Lights event,” said Joel Davis, vice president and general manager of WRAL/FOX 50. “We are committed to creating an exceptional experience for all attendees and will work hard to create a new and lasting holiday tradition for area families.”
- SLIDESHOW – WRAL.com: Sneak peek: WRAL Nights of Lights 2021
- VIDEO – Bryan Mims gives sneak peek of WRAL Nights of Lights
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Heather Gray & WRAL-TV’s Elizabeth Gardner for these Capcom photos.