By Dave Ficere
The holiday season is all about giving and a new Valley tradition captures that spirit in a unique way.
Illumination – billed as America’s largest drive-through light show – made its debut in mid-November, offering Valley residents a brand-new holiday light display with a twist: A portion of all monies received goes to support Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
The brainchild of Phoenix businessmen Simon Kreisberger and Ronny Urman, Illumination is a dazzling drive-through display of festive lights synchronized to holiday music and video. Designed for families, this symphony of over one million lights draws oohs and ahhs from young and old alike and runs nightly beginning at 6:00 p.m. through January 14, 2018.
Located on 14 acres of land in North Phoenix, the more than one-mile long drive-through display of lights features everything from well-lit arches to holiday trees, snowmen, a large American flag and much more. The holiday event utilizes the latest in world-class technology and computer programming to create an amazing, family-friendly experience sure to put guests in the holiday spirit.
After the approximately 25-minute drive through the light display, young and old alike will enjoy the attraction’s festive Holiday Boulevard, an interactive family area that includes concession stands, glow-in-the-dark novelties, five bouncing castles for the kids and enormous displays. Among the latter: a 30-foot lit sphere tree and – my favorite – the 20-foot walk-thru ornament, perfect for a photo-opt or selfie. On top of all that, kids can get their pictures taken with Santa while adults learn how to help the nation’s veterans by visiting the Youth for Troops booth located along the way.
“Wonderful,” “Stunning,” “Breathtaking,” were just some of the comments overheard by Illumination visitors on opening night. “We definitely want to come back with the rest of our family,” Angela from Scottsdale said. “This is one of the best holiday lights shows we’ve ever seen,” added Jacob from Peoria. “We will definitely tell our friends about it.”
Because the holidays can be expensive, organizers have done all they can to keep the costs affordable. The cost is $29.50++ per car and parking is free and plentiful in the event’s asphalt lot. The cost includes access to the festive Holiday Boulevard.
“We know that the holidays can be costly at times, so we wanted to create an opportunity for our community to rejoice and truly enjoy the holiday spirit without adding additional financial concern,” says Illumination Director of Marketing. Sallyann Martinez. “We are grateful for the experiences that living in Arizona provides for our families and hope that we can create a magical new tradition for our community in return.”
In addition to helping Phoenix Children’s Hospital, organizers say they plan to provide additional fundraising opportunities to several non-profit and school organizations.
Learn more about Illumination and purchase advance tickets by visiting their website at Illuminationaz.com. Illumination is located at 27701 N. Black Canyon Highway, conveniently located off of the service road at I-17, just north of Jomax Road. This wonderful, new holiday event is destined to become an annual Valley tradition that your entire family will enjoy!