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Shore Acres Holiday Lights Fest Returns to S. Oregon Coast

Published 06/10/21 at 5:30 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Shore Acres Holiday Lights Fest Returns to S. Oregon Coast

(Coos Bay, Oregon) – It's baaaack. After taking last year off due to COVID restrictions and budget issues, Shore Acres State Park is putting on the Ritz again, holiday-style in December. Returning to the southern Oregon coast is the famed Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park, where tens of thousands of holiday lights create a massive glow. It all happens from Thanksgiving, November 25 through New Year's Eve, from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day.

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Friends of Shore Acres sent out word earlier this week of the coveted festival's return. It also added some requests regarding attendance since it's become such an enormous hit.

“This event has become so popular, traffic backups can be a problem, so - if possible - people are encouraged to plan their visit during the week,” the group said. “Friday thru Sunday can be very busy. Peak hours are from 5 - 7:30, with vehicles waiting in line. Also, visitors are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the beautiful view at the sea wall and the spectacular gardens before it gets dark. Then experience the magical transformation of the lights at dusk.”

Some 325,000 LED lights create this stunning display in the old mansion's garden. Alongside this are six large holiday trees decorated by various organizations and businesses, and dozens of lighted sculptures including life-size whales, animated sea lions, an undersea garden, Koi under water in the pond, a leaping frog in the pond, leaping dolphins and more.

Inside the Garden House, there is a tribute to all the supporters of the event in the form of long scrolls of paper – in a true Victorian style. The Friends said more than 1,500 volunteers make this happen each time around.

This year there are a bundle of festive and truly Oregon coast-style gifts via raffle, including the “Ultimate Bed and Breakfast” concept. Here, two adults get to overnight in the Garden House on New Year's Eve, with a special catered breakfast the following morning, provided by the area's The Pancake Mill.

This remarkable south Oregon coast tradition began back in 1987, when the Friends of Shore Acres, Inc. in cooperation with Shore Acres State Park, decided to "string a few lights" to help celebrate the holidays. It was an instant hit. That initial season, they had 6,000 miniature lights, one Christmas tree, and the open Garden House drew 9,000 visitors. Now, the numbers have soared to an average of 50,000 to 60,000 visitors a season, often dependent on how many storms the area gets hit with.

“In 2017 with little or no rain, we had an estimated 74,392 visitors, an all-time record,” the Friends said.

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Admission is a parking fee of $5 per vehicle or a current OPRD Annual Parking Permit or Coastal Passport or current state park campground receipt. The entrance booth does not accept credit or debit cards, only cash or checks. The Friends welcome donations for refreshments and for continuing the event the following year.

Shore Acres State Park is located at 89039 Cape Arago Highway (GPS address), Coos Bay, Oregon 97420 (13 miles southwest of the cities of Coos Bay/North Bend). MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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Courtesy Oregon State Parks

Below: courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, Charleston, North Bend

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