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Fairgrounds lights up for annual Festival of Lights

See live reindeer, hop aboard the Upstate Farms Express and meet Santa all while checking out one million lights that will illuminate the Hamburg Fairgrounds during the annual Fairgrounds Festival of Lights

The lights will be switched on for the opening of the 14th year of the festival on Nov. 23. It runs from 5 to 9 p.m. weekends through Dec. 16, with an expanded schedule Dec. 19 to 23. Grounds and buildings are open until 10 p.m.

Load up the car and drive through the the illuminated displays. Then park and take a walk through the buildings where everyone can participate in a variety of fun and festive activities.

  • Antler Ride Farms of Hamburg will showcase their North American Reindeer on Sundays only inside Rudolph's Holiday Fun Zone.
  • The railroad-themed "Polar Stop" inside the New York State Police Building has toy train layouts, plus kids can make crafts inside the Tops Winterland Workshop. "Story Time with the Conductor" is at 7:30 p.m. Sundays.
  • The 10,000 square foot North Pole Experience has a toy shop, elf village and Santa's house where the big guy will meet visitors on his front porch. Bring a camera to get a free photo with Santa.
  • Santa's Magical Midway in the Grange Building has nostalgic kiddie rides. Cost is $2 per ride or a $20 for 12 rides. (Larger rides will be in the Event Center starting Dec. 8.)
  • The 30-minute Kandy Kane's Holiday Magic Shows are at 6:30 and 8: 30 p.m. Fridays; 6:30, 8 and 9:15 p.m. Saturdays; and 6:30 and 8 p.m. Sundays.
  • Kids can also decorate cookies, write a letter to Santa, visit the interactive Rudolph's Holiday Fun Zone and go through the maze at Frosty's 3D Adventure (grab a pair of 3D chromadepth glasses for the most fun).

Admission is $25 per carload at the gate. For a full schedule, visit FairgroundsHoliday.com.

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