‘Up and Shining’: Lights on the Lake returns for its 31st year

lights on the lake preview

Are you looking for a socially-distanced way to celebrate the holidays? Lights on the Lake returns to Onondaga Lake Park this month.

Debbie Dennis, senior recreation leader for the park, said attendees will notice a few changes to this year’s show. For one, there will not be a stroll or dog walk. Instead, Lights on the Lake will host a Charity Drive-Thru on Nov. 16 and a Doggy Drive-Thru on Nov. 17, with proceeds benefiting a charity to be named and Humane CNY – there will also be a discounted admission rate ($5). Families must also purchase tickets online before attending the show. The ticket booths will accept printed copies or QR codes.

“Those are the main two changes,” said Dennis, who is returning for her 15th year with the show. “Obviously, we’re excited to still be able to have the event. We think that it’s a pretty unique event that people can do and social distance. We’re just trying to make it as contactless as possible. All of the displays will be up and shining just like they have in the past. There’s no changes logistically within the show, it’s just the ticketing process ahead of time that will be different.”

Now in its 31st year, Lights on the Lake features a Wide World of Sports, Land of Oz, Fairytale Magic Grand Finale and more, all stretched across two miles. A total of 39,645 cars drove through the show last year, according to Dennis.

“We’re always happy with our attendance,” she said. “We’re hoping that being able to buy everything ahead of time and being contactless might entice more people to come out that may not have done so before because there’s a lot of things that people might not be able to do. This way, you can stay with your family in a vehicle and it just gives you something different to do.”

Lights on the Lake officially opens Nov. 18, with free admission for veterans, and continues through Jan. 10. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit


Location: Onondaga Lake Park, 106 Lake Drive, Liverpool.
Dates: Nov. 18 – Jan. 10.
Hours: 5-10 p.m.
Admission: $6 from Monday – Tuesday, $10 from Wednesday – Thursday and $20 from Friday – Sunday. All prices are per car and tickets must be purchased in advance online. Please note: There is a limited number of tickets per day.
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