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‘Fantasy of Lights’ returns to Franke Park Nov. 26

(Courtesy photo)

Larger displays, more interactivity and some special touches will greet visitors to Blue Jacket’s Fantasy of Lights, which will be from Nov. 26 through New Year’s Eve at Franke Park. This year’s event is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The cost is $10 per car, with additional fees for vans and buses with more than 12 passengers.

The event features 119 scenes made up of over 400 individual pieces and more than 300,000 LED lights through the nearly two-mile route. It will also feature displays donated from Flagstar Bank that were previously used downtown on the skywalk.

“This event is very special to us, much like it is to so many families in and around Fort Wayne,” Brad Saleik, director of marketing for Blue Jacket, said in a statement. “We make a concerted effort to make it better and unique from one year to the next, as we have since we took it over in 2015. I am excited to see the reactions this year and in years to come — we have some ambitious future plans.”

In addition to the new displays, Fantasy of Lights will have some new features. “Santa’s Cabin” gives patrons an opportunity to exit their cars before entering the bulk of the route to get free hot cocoa and popcorn, visit Santa on 11 scheduled dates, purchase exclusive ornaments created by Blue Jacket clients from bulbs that were used previously in actual displays from the event. It will also be professionally designed by local interior designer Cindy Friend and her associates. Santa’s Cabin is sponsored by Preferred Auto.

The largest new display, sponsored by Shambaugh and Sons Engineering and Construction, will feature a 75-inch monitor that will be used to display fun facts about the event, and provide news and updates for guests. There will also be opportunities for groups to experience the lights in an open-aired hayride-style ride. Blue Jacket is working with Hops Harvester on that feature. To book spots, call 260-245-2250 or go to hopsharvesterfortwayne.com.

Other fan favorites will be returning, including an expanded giveaway program held after each week on Blue Jacket’s Fantasy of Lights Facebook page that will feature a two-night stay at the downtown Hilton Grand Wayne Hotel, fine dining and an electric guitar.

The event helps to fund Blue Jacket’s Career Academy pre-employment training program. Following graduation from the program, Blue Jacket provides transitional jobs, job placement, and case management. Tickets to this year’s event can be purchased in bulk. Orders of 25-49 tickets are eligible for a 10 percent discount, 50-99 gets a 20 percent discount and 100 or more gets 30 percent off.

For more information, contact Saleik at 744-1900.

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