Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve a New Family Tradition in Miami County
By Matt Bayman
TROY - A new holiday tradition will be unveiled this fall at Lost Creek Reserve in Troy when the Miami County Park District and Miami County Visitor’s Bureau present the first-ever Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve.
This drive-thru light display, which will be open multiple weekends, takes visitors on a 1.25 mile drive through beautiful Lost Creek Reserve at the former Knoop Farm. Along the way there will be 53 light displays, including more than 30 animated displays, plus additional lights on the trees, farm lanes and historic Knoop Homestead.
Displays include light tunnels, giant snowmen, ringing bells, leaping reindeer, Santa’s workshop, the Star of David, and even a flying Christmas pig, among many others.
The display will be open weekends Nov. 29 through Dec. 29 from 6-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 6-9 p.m. on Sunday. The cost is $10 per carload and $30 for large passenger vans.
The new light display will replace another popular Miami County Park District event called An Evening of Lights at Charleston Falls. This event had become so popular that it began to have a negative impact on the natural resources at the park and needed to be ceased.
Miami County Park District Executive Director J. Scott Myers said the district was looking for possible alternatives to this event when Diana Thompson, executive director of the Miami County Visitor’s Bureau, suggested the idea of a drive-thru light display.
“I offered up the idea that Lost Creek Reserve might be a viable option as a venue,” he said. “As a working farm, the reserve would have fewer limitations hosting this type of event. It would also allow us to offer a multi-night event, which had been requested by the public for the past few years.”
Myers said members of the Park District then visited with staff from Sharon Woods Metropark in Cincinnati, which also hosts an annual drive-thru display. After this meeting it was determined that such an event could be done at Lost Creek Reserve, and the excitement began to build.
“The Park District is very excited to provide an opportunity to start a new family tradition during the holiday season that will add to the economic and tourism benefit of the county,” he said. “There’s no other drive-thru light display of this nature anywhere in the area and we are proud to be able to fill that gap.”
Myers said within a few years he could see the event growing to include side events, such as visits with Santa, night hikes, a 5k run through the lights, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.
Amanda Smith, marketing administrator for the Park District, said the district’s popular Date Night Series in December will include a holiday walk thru of the lights.
“And there will definitely be more events like this in the future,” she said.
Along with the public benefiting from the lights, so too will local organizations.
Smith said volunteers will be needed to help at the event. In return, the Park District is willing to make a $500 donation to their organization.
“This will be a great opportunity for local organizations to volunteer and receive a donation,” Myers said, adding, “And for local companies to partner with us as a sponsor of the event so people can see their commitment to the community.”
For more information on the light display, volunteering, becoming a sponsor, or the Date Night Series in December, contact the Miami County Park District at (937) 335-6273. Lost Creek Reserve is located three miles east of Troy at 2385 St. Rt. 41.