By Annalisa Pardo SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Onondaga Lake Park is lit this holiday season as its Lights on the Lake holiday tradition is now open.
Visitors are invited to drive or walk the two mile long road, which is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights.
And this year’s new features are shining bright.
“This year we have a new Loch Ness Monster, Miss Nessie, in the Wizard of Oz section we have some new animated features, Under the Sea has new features, and we also have a new arch which is a solider shooting a cannon,” Brittney Christie, Marketing Executive of Galaxy Communications said.
Lights on the Lake also is using some LED lights this year.
Christie said the event typically sees about 290,000 visitors and has already seen close to 20,000 visitors between last Monday and Tuesday.
“I’ve had people from Pennsylvania call, Ohio, I just had a girl call from Colorado who I mailed a ticket to today. So people actually come from all over, not only NYS, but a lot of surrounding states,” Christie said.
But Christie told us this event also comes with it’s own “catch-22.”
The high influx of people can bring some frustration to nearby residents.
Alice Carroll is a local resident who usually comes to the holiday event every year.
But when she tried to visit the event on Sunday night, she was forced to change plans.
“I could not find a parking place and we finally decided we’re going home. There were so many cars and so much traffic we didn’t know how we’d be able to even see the lights,” Carroll said.
Carroll said she goes to the park during the day now to avoid the large crowds.
Pam and Frank Monlari are residents of the Syracuse area and have gone to Lights on the Lake in the past.
“We used to do the walk throughs at the very beginning. we stopped doing that because it’s just so crowded. We walk through during the day now,” Pam Monlari said.
Another local resident, whose yard backs up to the event and even holds some of the event’s decorations, said she has to close the curtains because the cars’ headlights can be so bright.
While many residents can get frustrated with the business the 56 day long event brings, they say it is okay as it is all in the spirit of bringing holiday cheer.
Lights on the Lake is open from November 16, 2016 to January 8, 2017 from 5pm-10pm.