Residents hope Tunnel of Lights attracts more visitors

Staff writer

When neighbors on Hill Rd. at Marion County Lake decided to begin the Christmas season decorating their neighborhood for others, a small number of vehicles drove through. Nine years later, things have changed.

“Last year we had around 350 vehicles and 1,200-plus people,” said Margie Schwartz, a resident involved with decorating.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, anyone interested can drive through the Tunnel of Lights at the lake. Hot chocolate and popcorn will be available, as well as candy canes handed out by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Everything is free.

“You don’t get out of your cars,” Schwartz said. “It’s strictly a drive-through.”

In addition, a 30-foot decorated Christmas tree will light up, and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer will pull a sleigh from Gordon Pendergraft’s dock. The heated dock and shelters at the lake also will be decorated.

Schwartz said the event has become so popular people from communities such as Wichita, Hutchinson, Salina, and Topeka drive out to celebrate.

“They were really impressed at what a small community can do,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll get more people this year.”

 

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