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Lake Julian Festival of Lights


Western North Carolina Tradition Benefits Buncombe County Special Olympics

The Lake Julian Festival of Lights will once again brighten local holidays as it enters its eighteenth year of operation. The annual light show has become a local winter holiday staple offering an inexpensive and accessible family-oriented experience. The Lake Julian Festival of Lights thrives from its connection to the community; 20 percent of proceeds are donated to Buncombe County Special Olympics, while the remaining income is reinvested to enhance the Festival of Lights for the following year.


The light show will open with a family Lights by the Lake Foot Tour on Dec. 1, 2018. Admission for the Lake Foot tour is only $5 per adult. Children under 16 are admitted free with a paying adult. The event will run from 5:30pm – 9pm. Participants are invited to experience the lights through a more memorable and immersive experience by leaving their cars behind and taking a leisurely stroll through thousands of bright, twinkling holiday lights. Visitors can wind their way to the center of the park where they will find, games, crafts with LEAF’s Easel Rider Artists, s’mores are more!  Santa will be on hand for photo ops and to take Christmas requests from children. Parking for the foot tour will be at Family of Faith Fellowship Church.


The Lake Julian Festival of Lights will open to cars on Dec. 2 and run through Dec. 23 operating nightly from 6pm – 9pm for a thrilling drive through experience. The drive circling the park becomes a magical journey through tunnels of dazzling, animated and stationary light displays.  Visitors are invited to watch the lights twinkle over the lake and to turn on your favorite holiday music and let the sounds transform the show into a magical holiday journey.


Vehicle entry for the Festival of Lights is $10 per passenger vehicle and $20 for large vans, motor coaches, and buses.  Advance tickets may be purchased for $8 per passenger vehicle and $14 for large vans, motor coaches, and buses. Advance tickets can be purchased online at


The Lake Julian Festival of Lights is presented by Buncombe County Recreation Services.  Businesses interested in partnering with this time treasured event are encouraged to contact Buncombe County Recreation Services for sponsorship information.


Lake Julian Park is located at 406 Overlook Extension in Arden, just off of Long Shoals Rd.

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Updated Dec 19, 2018 01:37 PM
Published Nov 02, 2018 12:00 AM