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Christmas in June? Reservations Now Online for S. Oregon Coast's Shore Acres Holiday Lights

Published 06/13/23 at 9:31 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Christmas in June? S. Oregon Coast's Shore Acres Lights Event Opens Reservations

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – Is early summer too early to think about Christmas?

Not if you're talking one serious south Oregon coast attraction.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) just announced that Holiday Lights at Shore Acres now has its timed entry and parking reservations are now online, the grand lighted event held November 23 to December 31. The park's holiday shindig last year went to a parking system that is based on timed slots, and now reservations can be made for the blocks at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on each of those days.

The fave Oregon coast event was paused in 2020 and '21 because of pandemic dangers, and then made a big comeback in 2022. It's been going since 1987, gathering bigger and bigger crowds each year. Some 50 to 60 thousand people visit every time. The record was 74,392 visitors in 2017, largely because of little rain.

“The Friends of Shore Acres sponsors the annual Holiday Lights,” said OPRD in a press release.

The new system was sponsored by the group as well.

Lee Ricci, park manager for the Sunset Bay Management Unit, said when the reservation is made it covers everyone inside the car.

Feedback from visitors was good last year, with attendees greatly appreciating the fact they did not have to wait in long lines as in previous events. This entailed a much quicker entry process, Ricci said.

“Plus, the system improved safety for everyone traveling on the Cape Arago Highway, and smoothed out the process overall,” he said.

Cost is $5 for parking, and the timed entry system is the same as if you were parking there in general – events or not. That fee can be waived under some circumstances. These include:

Special access passes for veterans that have service-connected disabilities; or for the foster / guardians or adoptive parents of Oregon's foster children.

With parking permits for 12 or 24 months.

Current Oregon State Park camping confirmations that coincide with the event date, or if you have an Oregon Pacific Coast Passport.

Reservations also can be made by calling 800-452-5687. Visitors will no longer have the option to purchase a parking permit onsite to park and attend.

As you enter the lighted event, you must show a screen shot of your ticket on your smartphone or present the actual ticket; along with any pass, permit or campground confirmations if relevant.

“Although visitors can reserve their timed entry parking spot now, additional time slots will be available later this fall during a seven-day rolling window,” OPRD said. “Visitors can make reservations on Nov. 16 for visits on Nov. 23, and so on. The rolling window continues through the end of the event Dec. 31.”

Ricci said they are holding about half the reservations for a rolling seven-day window, so that visitors can snag a spot closer to the event.

“We realize that it’s early for many families to make November and December plans and we want people to have an opportunity for spur-of-the-moment visits,” Ricci said.

Visit the Oregon State Parks website for 12 and 24-month parking permit and special access pass information. Oregon Pacific Coast Passport information is available at the US Forest Service website.

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Photo of Shore Acres below courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

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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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