What's on Tap

What's on Tap

WRAL, City of Raleigh present Nights of Lights at Dix Park

Posted October 28, 2020 5:15 p.m. EDT
Updated January 4, 2021 5:10 p.m. EST

NIGHTS OF LIGHTS CONCLUDES FOR 2020 SEASON

The first ever WRAL Nights of Lights officially ended on Dec. 31, 2020, with a special appearance of the Raleigh Acorn, courtesy of Artsplosure and First Night Raleigh.

Thousands of attendees experienced the nighttime drive-thru event in December 2020 and early January 2021, designed to provide a COVID-safe holiday experience. More than 21,000 cars drove through the 1.3-mile route.

Attendees who experienced traffic delays the first nights of the event (Dec. 15-16) or who had canceled tickets due to severe weather on Dec. 24 are eligible for a refund through Jan. 4.

To obtain a refund, please contact eTix at 1-800-514-3849 or visit https://www.etix.com/ticket/online/help.jsp

WHAT IS NIGHTS OF LIGHTS?

Brighten your holiday season with the first ever Nights of Lights Drive-Thru Light Show at Dorothea Dix Park brought to you by WRAL/Capitol Broadcasting in partnership the City of Raleigh.

Towering oaks, rolling hills and open fields will be the magical backdrop for this dazzling light show throughout the park. Illuminated trees, festive light displays, and local art installations will delight visitors of all ages along the 1.3-mile route.

Nights of Lights is a festive experience for families and friends to safely celebrate the season, operating nightly from Wednesday, Dec. 16, through Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. On Wednesday, Dec. 30, and Thursday, Dec. 31, get ready for an extra dose of New Year’s Eve sparkle during the First Night Celebration Nights, courtesy of Artsplosure.

COVID-19 precautions have been established to ensure the health, safety and happiness of all guests & staff.

ORDER YOUR TICKETS

TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE ONLINE or THROUGH THE E-TIX TICKETING CALL CENTER (800-514-3849).

General admission tickets are available in 30-minute time blocks. There are limited tickets available for each block. You may arrive no more than 10 minutes before your ticketed time block.

Purchase tickets for WRAL Nights of Lights 2020

Tickets are $15 per vehicle for cars and pickup trucks.

Admission is $30 per vehicle for vehicles with 9 or more passengers*
*There is a 10 foot vehicle height limit

A 10% service fee, 3% credit card fee and 7.25% sales tax will be added to ticket purchases.

Discount Nights

Return to Nights of Lights or plan your first visit on Monday, Dec. 28, and Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. for discounted admission.

Pricing for Discount Night events is $10 per vehicle for cars and pick-up trucks and $25 per vehicles with 9 or more passengers.

First Night Celebration

Enjoy special enhancements to ring in the new year. Prices for Wednesday, Dec. 30 and Thursday, Dec. 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. are $20 for cars or pickups trucks, $40 per vehicle carrying 9 or more passengers.

Enjoy a series of creative and large-scale commissioned light installations by local artists featured throughout the event footprint. Plus, experience the Raleigh Acorn like you’ve never seen it before, nestled among Raleigh’s oak trees and enhanced by a dazzling locally-made, large-scale light installation.

Fast Lane Tickets presented by Count On Me NC

Want to skip the ticketing line? A very limited number of Fast Lane tickets are available within each 30-minute time block.

Fast Lane tickets are $30 per car.

VIP Fast Lane ticket holders will use the main event entrance, at 75 Hunt Drive in Raleigh. Once you enter the park, turn on your vehicle's hazard lights to indicate you have a VIP Fast Lane ticket.

Follow event staff's directions and have your VIP Fast Lane ticket in-hand.

Proceed through the VIP Fast Lane ticketing lane.

Fast Lane made possible by Count On Me NC, to learn more visit: CountOnMeNC.org

DATES AND TIMES

Nights of Lights Drive-Thru Light Show at Dorothea Dix Park will be open daily from Wednesday, Dec. 16, through Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The event will be closed Christmas Day, December 25, 2020.

Discount Nights

Visit again or plan your first visit to Nights of Lights during the discount days:

Monday, Dec. 28 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 29 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Pricing for Discount Night events is $10 per vehicle for cars and pick-up trucks and $25 per vehicles with 9 or more passengers.

First Night Celebration

Visit Nights of Lights to celebrate the ringing in of 2021! Experience special enhancements to the Nights of Lights event that will be familiar from the First Night Event, including the Raleigh acorn and other 2021 touches:

Wednesday, Dec. 30 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Pricing for First Night events is:

$20 per vehicle for cars and pickup trucks

$40 for vehicles with 9 or more passengers*
* There is a 10 foot vehicle height limit

HOW IT WORKS

All vehicles will enter Nights of Lights at the Hunt Drive entrance off Western Boulevard. Please use 75 Hunt Drive, Raleigh, NC, 27603 for the most accurate address.

With sellout crowds on most nights, visitors should plan for a wait of up to three hours in line to access Dix Park.

To ensure help keep the event moving efficiently for all, have your tickets downloaded or printed for scanning.

Attendees MUST remain in their vehicles at all times. Attendees are not permitted to leave their vehicle for any reason, including taking pictures with light displays.

MAP: Holiday greetings light 1.3-mile route through Dix park
play button
MAP: Holiday greetings light 1.3-mile route through Dix park

Restrooms will be not available. Attendees are encouraged use the restroom before attending the event.

There will be no food and beverage concessions available for this event; attendees are permitted to bring their own food and beverages to enjoy in their vehicles along the route. Alcohol is prohibited.

Driving directions

From Interstate 40:

Traffic on I-40 W should take Exit 298B and proceed north on South Saunders Street. Turn left onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and stay in the left lane. Through traffic will be passing in the right lane. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard turns into Western Boulevard. Look for signs for Nights of Lights and be prepared to make a left on Hunt Drive.

Traffic on I-40 E should take Exit 295 and proceed north on Gorman Street to Western Boulevard. Turn right onto Western Boulevard and remain in the right lane. Through traffic will be passing in the left lane. Hunt Drive will be on your right.

From Interstate 440/Beltline: Take exit 2A for Western Blvd/NC State University. Stay in the right lane on Western Boulevard. Follow signs for Nights of Lights. Hunt Drive will be on the right.

From Downtown Raleigh: Use Dawson Street and exit at Western Boulevard. Remain on Western Boulevard and stay in the left lane. Through traffic will be passing in the right lane. Look for signs for Nights of Lights and be prepared to make a left on Hunt Drive.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Do I need to have a ticket to enter?

Yes. One ticket is required per vehicle. Tickets must be purchased in advance of the event. No ticket sales will be available on-site at Dix Park.

How do Fast Lane tickets work?

VIP Fast Lane ticket holders will use the main event entrance, at 75 Hunt Drive in Raleigh. Once you enter the park, turn on your vehicle's hazard lights to indicate you have a VIP Fast Lane ticket.

Follow event staff's directions and have your VIP Fast Lane ticket in-hand.

Proceed through the VIP Fast Lane ticketing lane.

Where do I enter the park to begin the drive-thru event?

All event attendees should enter the park at the Hunt Drive entrance from Western Blvd. Use 75 Hunt Drive, Raleigh, NC, 27603 to guide you to the entrance. There will be signage directing you to the entrance. All other entrances to Dix Park will be blocked.

Traffic on I-40 W should take Exit 298B and proceed north on South Saunders Street. Turn left onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and stay in the left lane. Through traffic will be passing in the right lane. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard turns into Western Boulevard. Look for signs for Nights of Lights and be prepared to make a left on Hunt Drive.

Traffic on I-40 E should take Exit 295 and proceed north on Gorman Street to Western Boulevard. Turn right onto Western Boulevard and remain in the right lane. Through traffic will be passing in the left lane. Hunt Drive will be on your right.

From Interstate 440/Beltline: Take exit 2A for Western Blvd/NC State University. Stay in the right lane on Western Boulevard. Follow signs for Nights of Lights. Hunt Drive will be on the right.

From Downtown Raleigh: Use Dawson Street and exit at Western Boulevard. Remain on Western Boulevard and stay in the left lane. Through traffic will be passing in the right lane. Look for signs for Nights of Lights and be prepared to make a left on Hunt Drive.

When can I start arriving for the event?

Please plan to arrive at Dix Park within 30 minutes of the time on your ticket. Gates open at dusk, and the first ticketed times are 5:30 p.m. nightly.

How long should I expect to wait in the ticketing line when arriving at the event?

Expect to wait. Lights shows across the state have reported waits of two to four hours.

Many nights of Nights of Lights are sold out, and Raleigh police expect steady traffic on Western Boulevard approaching the park on each night through Dec. 31.

DO NOT have your GPS track you based on the street address. Your GPS may route you to an entrance of Dix Park that is not open and will add to your wait time. Every vehicle will enter Hunt Drive via Western Boulevard. There is no other entrance.

Attendees should have tickets downloaded or printed to ensure fast ticket scanning. Attendees will be allowed to attend the event with a prepaid ticket.

What if I miss my scheduled time?

If you missed your scheduled time due to unavoidable circumstance please contact Dorothea Dix Park staff at events@dixpark.org to discuss options.

For the rest of its run through Dec. 31, Nights of Lights will honor all tickets purchased for time slots from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Anyone who purchased tickets for 8, 8:30 or 9 p.m. for from Dec. 17 through Dec. 31 will automatically be issued a full refund.

Gov. Cooper has set a curfew for 10 p.m. What if I have tickets for a later window?

For all WRAL Nights of Lights ticketholders impacted by the announcement of the new North Carolina stay-at-home order (effective 12/11/2020): If you purchased a ticket for 9:30 p.m. or later, you will receive a refund. This refund should arrive on December 10th, 2020.

The return address on the email refund will be: thankyou@etix.com.

Make sure you check your spam folder if you do not see this by end of day on 12/10/2020. We are currently working to expand some ticketing windows to allow for impacted attendees to move to an earlier time. We will send an email to all impacted attendees.

How long is the light show?

The show path is 1.3 miles in length. It takes approximately 15 minutes from start to finish.

Can I exit my vehicle to take pictures or walk around the park to look at the lights?

To ensure physical distancing and safety of all attendees, you are required to remain in your vehicle throughout the lighted drive-thru event.

Can I park my vehicle at any point to look at the lights?

No. You must continue driving through the event to look at the lights. You can drive as slowly as you wish.

Can I walk or bike through the light show?

To ensure physical distancing and safety for all, no pedestrians will be allowed into the event. A limited number of Bike Night tickets have sold out. At all other times attendees will be required to be in a vehicle during the event.

I know the Bike Night event is sold out. Any chance you will add more tickets?

The Nights of Lights team is thrilled at the interest in the Bike Night. To ensure safety for all and efficient ticketing, no additional Bike Night tickets will be available for the event this year. We look forward to evaluating the success of Bike Night to be able to offer more multi-modal opportunities for future events at Dix Park.

Will there be restrooms available?

No. All visitors must remain in their vehicles.

What happens if there is inclement weather?

The event is on rain or shine unless there is major inclement weather. Announcements will be made in event of cancellation. If cancellation occurs all purchased tickets would be rescheduled. Make-up nights would take place at the beginning of January 2021.

Is there a vehicle height limitation?

Yes, there is a 10'5" height limit. Due to several tunnel elements, vehicles taller than 10'5" will not be permitted to enter the show.

I have a question about tickets or refunds

If you need to change or decide not to use your tickets, you can contact Etix at 1-800-514-3849 or online at https://www.etix.com/ticket/online/help.jsp

For the rest of its run through Dec. 31, Nights of Lights will honor all tickets purchased for time slots from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Anyone who purchased tickets for 8, 8:30 or 9 p.m. for from Dec. 17 through Dec. 31 will automatically be issued a full refund.

What if I have general Nights of Lights event questions?

Email events@dixpark.org.

NIGHTS OF LIGHTS SPONSORS

Artsplosure

Cambell School of Medicine

Count on me NC

Gregory Poole

Sport Durst Automotive Group

Vortex

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

Nights of Lights is excited to work with community organizations to spread holiday cheer to families they serve, their volunteers and essential workers.

City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department

Wake County Public School System

WakeMed

Department of Health and Human Services

Downtown Raleigh Alliance

Dix Park Conservancy

N.C. State Farmers Market

Hallelujah Soup Kitchen

Interfaith Food Shuttle

Meals on Wheels

Healing Transitions

Helping Hands Mission

Boys and Girls Club

Southeast Raleigh Assembly (SERA)

Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

The Green Chair Project

Habitat Wake

United Way of the Greater Triangle

Southeast Raleigh Promise

Place at the Table

Oak City Cares

SafeChild

Tammy Lynn Center

Centro Para Familias Hispanas

Project Enlightenment

Carrolls Kitchen

Methodist Home for Children

Triangle YMCA

Loaves and Fishes

Family Promises of Wake County

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.