UNION CITY, TN- Topping the list of unique holiday activities at Discovery Park of America is the "Let it Glow Light Show," which opens at 5:00 p.m. December 1st. According to Jim Rippy, CEO, the Discovery Park team wanted to offer something to people in this area that is unique, something that they haven't been able to do around here. After many meetings and plans, the group decided to have a lighted drive-through exhibit. "There's not much that gets people in the holiday spirit more than Christmas lights, so we are lighting things up at Discovery Park," Rippy said. Grounds Director, John Watkins, has headed up the effort, but he said about 20 - 30 Discovery Park employees have been involved in one way or another.
The light exhibit will open on Tuesday, December 1st at 5:00 p.m. and will be open each evening that the park is open from 5:00 until 9:00 throughout the month of December. The park is closed on Mondays, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so the drive through will be closed on those days as well. According to Watkins, there are over 380 thousand lights...over 24 miles if you stretched them all out. "This year, it is all about lights," Watkins said. There is no animation in this year's show, but each year it will get bigger and better, according to Watkins.
There is also a "live nativity" with community churches setting the scene. The following churches will be participating:
CALENDAR OF CHURCH NATIVITY SCENE PARTICIPANTS:
December 1st: First Baptist Church- Union City
December 2nd: Saint James Episcopal Church- Union City
December 3rd: First Methodist Church- Union City
December 4th: Blessed Hope, Woodland Mills Baptist Church- Union City
December 5th: Blessed Hope, Woodland Mills Baptist Church- Union City
December 6th: Mount Zion Methodist Church- Union City
December 8th: Union City Assembly of God-Union City
December 9th: Union City Assembly of God-Union City
December 10th: First Methodist Church- Union City
December 11th: McCade Temple United Methodist Church-Union City
December 12th: DPA employees
December 13th: Exchange Saint Church of Christ-Union City
December 15th: First Christian Church- Hickman, Kentucky
December 16th: Saint James Episcopal Church-Union City
December 17th: First Christian church- Hickman, Kentucky
December 18th: First Christian Church- Union City
December 19th: First Christian Church- Union City
December 20th: McCade Temple United Methodist Church- Union City
December 22nd: Second Baptist Church- Union City
December 29th: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church- Union City
The cost to drive through the light show is $5.00 per car, $10 for a 15 passenger or less van and if a group arrives in a larger bus, Discovery Park will provide transportation at $1.00 per person, due to height limitations. The access road is almost a mile long, so we expect it to take about ten minutes to drive through, with one of the highlights being a 60 foot drive through tunnel of dancing lights. "We hope everyone will come out enjoy this amazing light show," Rippy said.
Other December activities include "Photos with Santa" each Saturday from noon until 5:00. According to park officials, everyone is invited to bring a camera and snap a photo with Santa, who will be located in Dinosaur Hall this year. There's no extra charge to visit with Santa, it is free with park admission. Plus, this year, Discovery Park has a mail box that is guaranteed delivery to the North Pole, so your children are welcome to bring their letters to Santa and mail them in the special mailbox which will be in the Discovery Center lobby on Saturdays.
Sunday afternoons bring Polar Express at the Train Depot. The park had a Polar Express event one Sunday afternoon last Christmas, and it sold out. So, this year, the park expanded it to three Sunday afternoons with four shows each day. It was publicized via email to members and others who have gone online and submitted an email address. Within days, it was completely sold out. Polar Express is sponsored by Simmons Bank. Everyone who purchased a special Polar Express ticket is welcome to bring their children in their pajamas for their appointed show. On Sundays, the letters to Santa mailbox will be located at the Train Depot. Park officials encourage anyone who is not getting the Discovery Park emails to go online or call and get on the mailing list, because some events sell out after they are mentioned in the weekly email.
Saturday, December 5th will be a big day at the park, as Daniel Tiger comes to visit from 10:30 until noon. Beginning at noon, the David Johnson Chorus will be singing Christmas Carols in Dinosaur Hall every thirty minutes. And, then, Saturday, December 12th, the Education Department is presenting a very fun, festive and informative program entitled "Laughing all the Way." There will be 13 to 15 musicians, singers and story tellers bringing a light hearted, fun and very musical "History of the Christmas Carol."
The park will have its monthly Wine and Paint class on December 11th, a pottery class on December 17th and the traveling exhibit, "In the Footsteps of Alvin York" is open the entire month, and is free with park admission.
"December is packed with fun things to do at Discovery Park," Rippy said. For more complete information, visit the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com. Discovery Park has been open since November 1st, 2013 and has had over 520,000 guests from every state and representing many foreign countries. "If you live around here, and you haven't been out yet, give yourself a treat this December and come see Discovery Park," Rippy said. "You won't believe you are in Union City.
Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN. The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.