ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Volunteers are still needed to help light up Explore Park for the holidays.
Illuminights is taking over Explore Park for a 26-night event that will deck out the park with more than 500,000 lights starting Nov. 29.
This will be the first year for the twinkling lights show. Visitors can enjoy the celebration by walking through the display, and on certain nights, there will also be carriage rides, a Santa shop for kids, cookie decorating crafts and Santa visits.
"We've started wrapping trees, some up-lighting in the woods. And what we're doing now is working on some of the logistical aspects of the operation: how we're going to handle admissions, the music that's going to be playing, the ambiance throughout the woods, down to even snow machines throughout the trees," said Scott Ramsburg, the marketing and administration manager for Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
The journey hasn't been all snowflakes and sugar plums. It has been in the works for three years.
Joel Mosca from Mosca Design, the holiday lighting company, said the first challenge was finding the money, then a good location. Next, they had to pick which lights and designs to use. The end goal was a unique display of features that represent the region, including custom-made kayakers and zip liners.
"We'll draw those, put them in casts, and then make these displays using steel and lights." Mosca said.
There is also a field of light orbs that guests can change the color of using an iPad.
Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Center in the Square and Explore Park.
There are still 700 volunteer time slots that need to be filled for the holiday walking tour. Positions include parking, guest services, concessions, green team and logistics. Volunteers who sign up for multiple time slots get special perks.
"In addition to getting your [Illuminights] hat and scarf, there are other perks if you volunteer multiple nights," Ramsburg said.
- Tier 1- Volunteer for two nights and receive one pass from the following (Splash Valley, Green Ridge Recreation Center, Pinball Musum, Starcade or Kid Square)
- Tier 2- Volunteer for three nights and receive your choice of two passes from Tier 1 or 1 Treetop Quest pass
- Tier 3- Volunteer for four nights and receive your choice of three passes from Tier 1 or 1 Treetop Quest pass and one pass from Tier 1
Individuals or organizations are able to volunteer together by signing up online.
Advance tickets are available online with prices ranging from $6 to $13.