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Winter Wonderland Drive Thru Dazzles and Delights

By Eva Mandelbaum

On Nov. 25—the day after Thanksgiving—the holiday season officially began. That is, for the thousands of attendees of the first night of the Winter Wonderland Drive Thru Holiday Light Extravaganza, a colorful and thrilling light show at the Kensico Dam Plaza.

This year is Westchester Winter Wonderland’s tenth year overall and fourth year as a drive-thru event.

“We are extremely proud of this event and through it, the Westchester Parks Foundation has

strengthened the connection between parks and the community,” Executive Director of the

Westchester Parks Foundation Joe Stout explained in his speech at this year’s tree

lighting ceremony. “We all visit Kensico Dam Plaza Park throughout the year, but to see it transformed into this magical winter wonderland for five weeks this holiday season is magnificent. It truly is a tradition for so many of us, not just in Westchester, but the entire Hudson Valley and throughout the Tri-State area.”

Following Stout’s speech (and the remarks of a few other sponsors and Westchester Parks and county officials), the brave 12-year-old Iyana Gilzene from White Plains who was a patient at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital this Fall and received a kidney transplant, did the honor of lighting the 40-foot Christmas tree, the centerpiece of the whole event.

This family-friendly event garners community praise year after year. At $35 a car, attendees can expect to drive through electrifying tunnels of lights, an elf disco, and a candy cane lane to name a few.

This 1.2 mile drive-thru experience filled with thousands of lights also includes favorite elves Ned and Albert, glittering angels of peace and a 50-foot dove, dancing trees, glowing snowballs, a menorah and kinara, and so much more.

Filled with glittering lights and including a Santa sighting from the comfort of your car, this is the local holiday experience you won’t want to miss. Plus, proceeds directly benefit the Westchester Parks Foundation and allow for the advocacy and investment in the preservation, conservation, use, and enjoyment of the over 50 parks, trails, and open spaces within the Westchester County Parks system.

The drive-thru opens at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. on weekends, and it will remain open through December 31. Buy your tickets today at

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