You may think of taking a drive to Winfield in September for its internationally famous bluegrass festival, but thousands of visitors are discovering how the town lights up December, too.

For the 19th year, Winfield’s Island Park is home to thousands of lights in a holiday display known as the “Isle of Lights.”  Hundreds of people take part in the all-volunteer effort that brings tens of thousands of visitors to the south central Kansas town each year.

The FREE display is a mile-long drive through celebration of the season. Reindeer, Santa, Dorothy and wise men all line up next to tin soldiers, the 12 days of Christmas and a dragon. It is a great display that will entertain the whole family.

Hours: 6 - 10 p.m.Dates: Every night until December 30.Cost: FREE (donations are accepted)Where: At the north end of HWY 77 at Island Park. The highway takes you either into the park or out of town. You can’t miss it.Make it a day trip this Saturday, December 8, 2012. The town will celebrate its annual Christmas parade at 5:45 p.m. down the middle of Main Street. This year’ theme “It’s a Wonderful Town” gives a nod to classic Christmas movies.

AND here’s a travel tip: Most of the stores are NOT open late. So, plan to go early for shopping or to eat before you enjoy the drive-thru display.For a little preview check out this YouTube version of last year’s display:

Becky Blake is the Director of the Kansas Travel & Tourism Division, and has been involved in the Kansas tourism industry for the past 30 years. The TravelKS Blog provides a brief update from Becky each week, featuring communities, events and attractions throughout the state.