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New at South Oregon Coast's Stellar Holiday Lights at Shore Acres: Shuttles, Reservation System

Published 11/23/23 a 4:05 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

New at South Oregon Coast's Stellar Holiday Lights at Shore Acres: Shuttles, Reservation System

(Coos Bay, Oregon) – Big waves, big light display: if the southern Oregon coast's Shore Acres State Park had a kind of mission statement this would be it. The Coos Bay-area attraction is the largest wave action takes place on all the state's shoreline, but it has the most holiday lights of all the region as well, come the Christmas season. (Courtesy photos Friends of Shore Acres)

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As the whole festival of glow gets underway today – November 23 – those thousands of lights get visited by thousands of onlookers each season, and there's some new things for the Annual Holiday Lights at Shore Acres. A reserved, time-entry system and shuttle buses are on the menu for those partaking in the stellar south Oregon coast tradition.

Traffic issues in the past have brought on a reserved parking and timed entry system, which marks a new era for the coveted display. With presales having sold about 50 percent of the spots when they started back in the summer, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has set up a rolling sales system to allow others to snag the rest of the reservations as they become available.

The Holiday Lights at Shore Acres runs from November 23 through December 31, and this time you must make a reservation – just like last year. OPRD said the new system was well received. Reservation slots are available for 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

This system goes by vehicle and not by number of people, allowing for all those in the car to visit. Individuals will not need a ticket.

However, there is a way to bypass the reservation system by taking a free shuttle to the event. Oregon's Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston announced earlier this month you can take a shuttle bus that runs from the Charleston Marine to Shore Acres State Park each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, (plus Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve). This also sets you free from sitting in your car for awhile in traffic.

“The shuttle does not require any reservations,” said Coos Bay Visitors spokesman Janice Langlinais. “It is first come first serve. We are estimating that we will be able to take about 100 people an hour to the park.”

These wheelchair-accessible shuttles will depart from the marina every 20 minutes between 4:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

For vehicles, OPRD said all reservations must be made ahead of time: no onsite parking permit purchase is available during event hours. During each day before the event begins, the regular $5 parking fee for state parks will be charged for those visiting the gardens or the wave-viewing area. All will be cleared out by 4:30 p.m. to make way for the lighted event crowds.

“If your preferred date and time are sold out, you have another opportunity via the 7-day rolling window that begins Nov. 16 for visits on Nov. 23; Nov. 17 for visits Nov. 24; and continues to roll through the event,” OPRD said.

See the Holiday Lights at Shore Acres page for full reservation information.

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Coos Bay photos below courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts 

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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