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The Holiday season is not complete without a visit to Berks County’s favorite park, decked out in thousands of lights and displays for the annual Holiday Lights at Gring’s Mill program, open December 1st through December 30th, Thursday through Sunday evenings, 6 – 9 p.m. Experience our glittering walk through light display, enjoy nightly entertainment, stop by the model train display or say “hello” to Santa Claus.
With its historic buildings and scenic landscapes, the walk through light display is a dazzling holiday destination which park patrons have enjoyed since 1988. “Looking back at the program’s history, you see how the light display grew from 15,000 lights and being open just a few evenings to today- with a month long program, more lights, and many more visitors” remarked Becky Richards, Berks County Parks & Recreation Superintendent. “Several of our sponsors have supported the popular program from the beginning, like Buddies Nursery of Birdsboro. We are honored to have such enthusiastic support from our community businesses, so we can continue to offer quality programs like “Holiday Lights at Gring’s Mill.”
A typical visit to “Holiday Lights at Gring’s Mill” starts with the walk-through light display that winds from the entrance of the park, down to the barn and across the bridge. Stop in the building on the bridge for the Model Train Display, constructed and operated by the Pottstown & Reading Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Kids of all ages will enjoy watching the trains, pressing the interactive buttons, and hearing the operators’ railroad stories and description of the equipment on display.
Warm up in the barn with some hot chocolate or a soft pretzel from our snack bar. Children can visit with Santa and receive a treat; bring along your own camera for pictures. The upper level of the barn features some great entertainment with a new group each night, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; artists include Maria Damore & Ken Bagenstose, Mt. Laurel Brass, David Cullen & Jill Haley; Pagoda Brass and many more talented groups! For a complete entertainment schedule call 610-374-2944 or visit www.countyofberks.com/parks. Like us on Facebook for regular updates “Berks County Parks and Recreation.”
Bring the kids for a FREE Holiday Workshop on December 9th from 1– 4 p.m., for crafts and entertainment with “The Holly Jolly Puppet Show” with Marian and Friends Ventriloquist. For evenings with music the whole family will enjoy, mark your calendars for the following nights: Sunday, December 9, for a “Holiday Sing-along with Butch Imhoff of the Acoustic Roadshow; Saturday, December 15 featuring “The Magic of Kyle & Kelly” and Sunday, December 30 for a special performance by the Yocum Institute for Arts Education “Two Marys, Five jacks and One Very Big Shoe.”
Ring in 25 years of “Holiday Lights at Gring’s Mill” with us, and visit a night or two. “A visit to our program will certainly put you in a holiday mood,” says Becky Richards. “Walking through the park and the serene country setting; seeing the looks of wonderment on children’s faces, helps the hustle & bustle stress just fade away.
Presented by the County of Berks and the Parks & Recreation Department, the programs is sponsored by the Reading Eagle Company, WEEU 830 AM, Spring Township and WFMZ- Channel 69 Berks Edition. Admission is $5 per car. Light refreshments are available in the snack bar. Gring’s Mill Recreation Area is located at 2083 Tulpehocken Road, across from Penn State Berks-Lehigh Campus. For a complete entertainment schedule or more info, call 610-374-2944 or visit www.countyofberks.com/parks.