Kicking Off the Holiday Season Fun

Posted by Sarah Johnson on 11/03/2019

We may still have almost two months left in the official fall season, but last week’s weather didn’t seem to get that message. Despite frozen trick or treaters and the early rush to dust off the cold weather gear, that chill in the air signals something exciting – the holiday season is on its way!

As the annual kick off to the holidays, make sure to attend the 22nd Annual Festival of Lights auction. Hosted by the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the auction will be held at the Ardmore Convention Center on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. This annual fundraiser is the primary source of funding that ensures the Festival of Lights Drive Through grows and improves every year. It is free to attend and open to the public.

The silent auction will open at 5:30 pm followed by a live auction beginning at 7:00 pm. The Silent Auction includes several of this year’s top 20 toys for Christmas, all kinds of fun and eclectic items, as well as certificates for professional services, game tickets, dinners, gift baskets and more. The live auction provides guests an opportunity to bid and purchase unique items for themselves or as a great holiday present.  

Next on the calendar is the 24th annual Chigger Chase. The Chigger Chase started in 1995 with Curtis Davidson, Cheryl Key and Ginny Blankenship as a fundraiser for Communities in Schools.  The run started downtown at Central Park and ran thru the SW neighborhoods.  When Regional Park was developed, the proceeds of the race shifted create a drive through display, and so did the race. Now the participants get a first look at the Festival of Lights Drive Through as they run along the lit-up pathways of Regional Park.

Nancy Sjulin, Vice President of Citizens Bank and Trust and co-chair of the 2019 Chigger Chase said, “The Chigger Chase is still the only fundraiser for Regional Park.  On November 23rd before the Festival of Lights kicks off, you can come enjoy a family event at Regional Park.  The mascot run starts at 3:30 pm, the kids run at 4 pm (this is a ¼ mile for kids 6 and under and ½ mile for ages 7 and over), then the 5K and one-mile fun run/walk at 5 pm.  If you beat the Chigger in the 5K you’ll win a pair of Ardmore Institute of Health running socks. Register online at, at the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA or Ardmore Regional Park. A special guest, Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell will join the runners in the 5K race.  Run under the Christmas lights with the Chigger!”

After the race, the Festival of Lights Drive Through is open for the season. This 1.5-mile drive through endless, vibrant Christmas lights is one of the largest holiday-light displays in southern Oklahoma, with more than 150 animated displays in a beautiful winter wonderland. The Festival of Lights will delight visitors of all ages and is quickly becoming one of the most popular light displays in the state of Oklahoma. Teresa Ervin, City of Ardmore Parks and Recreation Director said, “The Festival of Lights is the absolute true meaning of community.  This one event brings civic group, churches and businesses together to share the magic of the season.  We serve not only our local citizens in Ardmore and surrounding towns, but also families and tour groups from several states away who plan their trip and route to include the Festival of Lights.  Guests from Nebraska, Arkansas, Texas and Kansas are a few that I have had the pleasure to visit with.”

So make your way to Ardmore Regional Park from November 23rd until December 30th, tune your car stereo to a favorite Christmas music station and meander through rows and rows of lights as holiday cheer comes to life.