Perhaps one good thing in 2020 is the Fantasy of Lights will open a few days early. Blue Jacket’s fundraiser in Franke Park will open November 13th. Normally it doesn’t start until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
WANE 15 will be live at the displays at 6 pm Friday, right after all the lights are officially lit.
This is the 26th year for the Fort Wayne holiday tradition. There are also seven more scenes this year than last. For $10 per car, people can travel the two-mile route and see 127 scenes made up for more than 425 displays.
Due to the pandemic, the free popcorn and hot cocoa will not be available. But, new this year is an open-air Christmas Market.
The market will be at the end of the Fantasy of Lights route in the Foellinger Theatre parking lot. It’s free to attend the market, but people had to have already paid admission to drive through the light displays.
There will be food and craft vendors, Christmas music and outdoor photo opportunities. The market is only only December 10-13 and December 17-23. There is also a large “Santa Experience” tent where guests will see Santa’s workshop and meet Santa himself.
In a news release, Blue Jacket said it’s “working with the Allen County Board of Health to ensure the event is safe. Plans are already in place for masks, proper social distancing, population control inside the market and Santa Experience, and they are prepared to add any other provisions based on mandates at the time of the event.”
The Fantasy of Lights opens at 6 pm every night it’s open and it’s still $10 per vehicle, unless otherwise specified on a special day. See the full schedule below:
Friday, Nov. 13: Grand Opening (Public welcome, regular admission)
Saturday, Nov. 14: Teachers Free Night (Public regular admission)
Sunday, Nov. 15: First Responders Free Night (Public regular admission)
Monday, Nov. 16: Military Free Night (Public regular admission)
Tuesday, Nov. 17: Pay what you want Night (Entry fee is a donation)
Wednesday, Nov. 18: Decorated Car Free Night (Public regular admission)
Thursday, Nov. 19: Nursing Homes Free Night (Public regular admission)
Friday, Nov. 20: Fort4Fitness 2K walk (Registrants only, closed to vehicles)
Saturday, Nov. 21: Fort4Fitness 5K run/walk (Registrants only, closed to vehicles)
Sunday, Nov. 22: $5 Bike Ride (Closed to vehicles)
Monday, Nov. 23: ‘Golden Ticket’ Partner Appreciation
Tuesday, Nov. 24 – Dec. 31stOpen Every Night
Blue Jacket is also “putting its mission on full display” by hiring its Career Academy graduates to staff the event. Blue Jacket provides training and opportunities to anyone with a barrier who is striving to earn gainful employment.