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Photo Essay: Westchester Winter Wonderland

By Eva Mandelbaum

As promised in a previous article, Westchester Winter Wonderland’s opening night was a big hit! The exciting drive-thru light show experience was bigger, brighter, and more beautiful than imagined. Don’t believe it? See for yourself in the following snapshots from opening night, all of which were taken through the lens of a passenger in a car driving through:

A clear and cool night made it comfortable for (masked up of course) Westchester Parks Foundation Board members, event sponsors, other special guests, and their families awaiting the grand opening outside. In prominently featured glistening letters, the words “Winter Wonderland” shone, two loyal nutcrackers protecting the glowing gold lights.

This year’s Winter Wonderland was more momentous than it has been in the past. It carries the weight of the arduous times our world, country, state, and county have been facing. Though it feels as though everything is difficult nowadays, events like these also provide hope and courage. The living embodiment courage, Jorden Hutchins, a brave 9-year-old survivor of COVID-19, came to this event, in great health thanks to healthcare heroes from Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Westchester, who saved his life in the spring. Jorden was intubated and put on a ventilator. He survived two strokes and went into heart failure, but he stood strong, healthy, and proud, front and center with Santa Claus, along with board members and other special guests at the Westchester Winter Wonderland’s opening night.

Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated at this event! A light-up Hanukkah Menorah can be found next to a smaller Christmas Tree, both representing different holidays, but the same messages of joy and hope.

What’s more festive than a Christmas tree? The colorfully lit tree had people in awe. This attraction stands out, its festive lights brightening the night sky, with the other incredible lights and attractions surrounding it.

While driving by, make sure not to blink and miss the copious number of other lights and attractions! Candy Cane Lane, Winter Winds Way, and Fa La La La La Lane are just a few of the attractions you won‘t want to miss.

An extremely large 50-foot tall, light-up dove portrays the true meaning of the holidays: hope. This attraction just before the main Christmas tree adds a special glow to the event. If there’s anything we’ve needed the most in this past year, it has been hope. This bright dove adds light into the dark night sky and added an extra bright flair to the event.

Guests drive through the Twirling Tunnel, which leads them in the direction of Santa. Driving through this attraction makes guests feel as though they are driving through a rush of holiday cheer.

Glistening lights from a distance shone against the darkened night sky.

Times have been far from easy, but with hope and some holiday spirit from Westchester’s Winter Wonderland, things are looking almost as bright as this event’s coruscating lights.

Note: The event is still open and will be through January 3.

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