By Conrad Dudderar
With heavy traffic surging to Yukon to view the city’s Christmas holiday lights spectacular, Yukon Police are asking motorists to remain patient and aware around the yuletide park venue.
The 2021 edition of “Christmas in the Park” debuted Nov. 20 and will remain open from 6-11 p.m. nightly through Jan. 2.
Drive-through and walking tours are offered to see some 500 festive displays featuring 5 million twinkling lights along nearly three miles of illuminated fun.
Long lines of vehicles are typical – especially on the weekends – along sections of Vandament, Holly and N.W. 10th leading to the Chisholm Trail Park, Freedom Trail Park and Yukon City Park entrances.
In recent weeks, right-hand turns have been restricted at Cornwell and 10th Street on Friday and Saturday nights due to high vehicle volumes.
“As we get closer to Christmas, we’ve had to put that in place Sunday as well because of the amount of traffic,” Yukon Police Chief John Corn explained.
“When those areas become congested and the officers realize traffic is backing up, we will reinstitute barricades that aren’t in place during the week.”
On a recent Friday night, traffic was backed up along W Vandament to Garth Brooks Boulevard and the intersection was temporarily blocked.
Last Saturday night about 7:15 p.m., traffic was backed up on N.W. 10th well east of Yukon Parkway – almost to the Kilpatrick Turnpike.
Yukon’s Christmas in the Park has become Oklahoma’s premier holiday lights tour, attracting people from across the state and region.
Yukon city personnel who plan and present Christmas in the Park have “outdone themselves” again, City of Yukon public information officer Jenna Roberson said.
“It’s always absolutely beautiful – this year is no exception,” Roberson said.
Displays have been added each year since Christmas in the Park began more than 25 years ago.
New “4-D” displays feature a Cadillac with Santa Claus riding on the back, a gingerbread house scene, squashed reindeer, and horse-and-carriage.
Among other favorites are a color-changing 30-foot tree, Santa’s Workshop gingerbread house, “Czechers” the polar bear, juggling dragon, and a Christmas tree “island” at Mulvey’s Pond.
This is the second year for an outdoor ice-staking rink in the Chisholm Trail Park parking lot, which has enhanced Christmas in the Park’s popularity.
Other attractions are Santa Express train rides and “selfie stations” scattered across the interconnecting Yukon City Park complex.