Yuletide excitement and free family fun are in store as holiday festivities begin this Saturday, Nov. 18 in Yukon.
The Christmas kickoff features the grand opening of Yukon’s beautiful holiday wonderland: Christmas in the Park, the Kringle Karnival, the 20th annual Chill Your Cheeks 5K Run, Mascot Dash, and Jingle Walk.
An opening night drone show will be back by popular demand.
The Mascot Dash officially commences the Nov. 18th festivities at 4:30 p.m. as mascots from across the area compete in a 100-yard dash.
The Chill Your Cheeks 5K Run, presented by Academy Sports and Outdoors, begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at Chisholm Trail Park, 500 W Vandament. More than 400 runners are expected.
Runners will follow a USATF-certified course that takes them along area streets and ultimately through the beautifully illuminated Christmas in the Park lights.
Christmas music sets the mood as they pass through the park. Pre-registration is open through Nov. 14 online (www.yukonok.gov/catalog), at the Yukon Community Center (2200 S Holly) or Jackie Cooper Gym (1024 E Main).
Runners also may register on-site from 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday in Chisholm Trail Park’s north pavilion. Chill Your Cheeks’ comet sponsor is Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.
The Jingle Walk begins at 5:30 p.m. at the north pavilion, just next to Boot Hill. This fun-walk travels through Chisholm Trail Park’s millions of glowing Christmas lights.
All participants in the Jingle Walk receive a festive jingle bell bracelet. For details, call (405) 350-8937.
The Kringle Karnival returns to celebrate the opening night from 5:30-8 p.m. at the north end of Chisholm Trail Park.
This event features face painting, train rides, crafts, concession food trucks, carnival games, and performances. Santa himself is stopping by to celebrate and pose for pictures.
At 6 p.m., a special Christmas-themed circus act takes the stage, with Anna and Elsa even joining the festivities. Admission is free.
At 7 p.m., people will want to look up as 50 drones take to the night sky for a spectacular performance. They will watch closely as these drones morph into shapes that represent Christmas and Yukon.
Christmas in the Park is the largest drive-thru light display in Oklahoma, boasting over 5 million lights and 500 imaginative displays.
Visitors may drive or walk through interconnected parks transformed into a holiday wonderland, and see over a quarter century of hard work, lovingly put together by City of Yukon staff and volunteers.
Christmas in the Park opens at 6 p.m. Nov. 18, then runs from 6-11 p.m. nightly through New Year’s Eve.
THREE WAYS TO ENJOY
There are three ways to enjoy Christmas in the Park:
- Drive-Thru Tour:Motorists from all 50 states have driven through this enchanting display. Twinkling animated displays amuse as people leisurely make their way through, while the animated RGB tree wows young and old alike.
- Walking Tour:People can get up-close and personal to the lights with a walking tour. The romantic pond area in Chisholm Trail Park is ideal for a winter date. There is even a “Will You Marry Me?” sign for guests who are ready to pop the question. Selfie stations are placed throughout the parks for pictures perfect for Instagram or an annual Christmas card. People find new displays each year. A classic car, as well as bright and bold European-style Christmas trees and deer, are some of the new offerings that promise to delight.
- Santa Express Train Ride:The Christmas in the Park Train Station is the junction of tasty treats, selfie spots, and, back by popular demand, an ice-skating rink. On Fridays and Saturdays, St. Nick himself stops by for photos with his biggest fans. The Santa Express, sponsored by Country Equipment, takes guests on a tour of the lights that adorn Chisholm Trail Park. The Santa Express and Yukon Ice Rink cost a small fee. Keep up to date on rates, including group rates, and special hours at www.yukonchristmas.com.
Near the donation station in Chisholm Trail Park, people can pull over on Fridays and Saturdays to pose with charming Christmas characters – from the Grinch to Elf on the Shelf.
Visitors are encouraged to stop by the three-story-tall animated RGB Christmas tree. The tree blends every color under the rainbow to present a stunning light show throughout your visit. Bright and bold animations, festive messages and dancing lights are all synced to Christmas tunes.
Christmas in the Park is one of the oldest and most popular traditions in Yukon.
Admission is free, and donations are merrily accepted at both the Chisholm Trail Park exit and the Yukon City Park exit. Donations collected help fund Christmas in the Park.
For more information, call (405) 354-8442, (405) 350-8937 or visit www.yukonchristmas.com.