By Laura Kaae
Fort Hood Herald
Millions of Christmas lights will twinkle under the moonlight from now through Jan. 6 at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area.
For the 11th year, Fort Hood’s Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation will host its Nature in Lights event, combining animated and foliage lighting displays, including the 500-foot-long tunnel of lights.
In past years, Nature in Lights has been seen by more than 100,000 people during the holiday season.
This year, BLORA workers had to begin work late due to all the summer flooding.
“There are usually 14 people who set up Nature in Lights in August,” said Koy Grant, public relations coordinator for MWR.
“But this year, they couldn’t start until late September, and it took 30 civilian workers and 12 soldiers to work around all the flooding.”
“Our employees have been working night and day, around the clock, to make Nature in Lights happen this season,” Michael Mennor, director of outdoor recreation at BLORA, said in a news release.
“We pride ourselves on giving this holiday gift to the greater Central Texas community, especially our soldiers and families,” he said.
Grant said that despite the difficulties, there was no stopping the annual Fort Hood tradition, she said.
It’s an event people really look forward to each year, Grant said.
“Something they can count on.”
Grant also mentioned that the display will differ this year from last, as organizers make an effort to change the lights each season.
“The drive is always different,” she said, “but the tradition has stayed the same for 11 years.”
Santa’s Village will also be open for Christmas festivities during Nature in Lights, including a seasonal craft fair, photos with Santa and holiday goodies such as hot chocolate and homemade cookies.
Nature in Lights opened Thursday and runs every day through Jan. 6, from 5:30 to 11 p.m.
Visitors can view Nature in Lights at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area by purchasing tickets at BLORA’s main gate or by purchasing them in advance at the BLORA reservation office or Fort Hood’s Information Ticketing and Registration office, building 136. Cost for Nature in Lights is $5 for personal vehicles, $15 per 15-passenger van/limo, $25 per 24-passenger van or $40 per 47-passenger bus.
Santa’s Village opened Thursday and runs through Dec. 9, from Thursday through Sunday, 5:30 to 11 p.m. and Dec. 13 through Dec. 24, 5:30 to 11 p.m.
Program information is available by calling the park at (254) 287-2523.
Contact Laura Kaae at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7464