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Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights begins Thanksgiving

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 6:43 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 25, 2021 at 7:35 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The 28th annual Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights kicked off at Garvin Park on Thanksgiving Day.

Event organizers tell 14 News this is not only a popular holiday tradition, but also an essential source of funding for children and adults with disabilities who couldn’t otherwise afford services through Easterseals Rehabilitation Center in Evansville.

This holiday season, organizers say the park will look a bit different.

“This year, we are super excited because we have 70 displays - more than we’ve ever had,” Carolyn Franklin, Easterseasls director of special events said. “We have five new displays and the entire park is now fully LED.”

Easterseals Child Ambassador Evan Carter had the honor of lighting up the park Thursday.

“Part of the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center - That’s where all the kids in need of help goes,” Carter said. “That’s what honored me. Also, I’m a deaf kid too.”

“It is incredibly bright and colorful,” Franklin said. “It is going to be the most displays ever. We also have a couple new programs. One is the Polar Bear Express, which is a limo bus on Tuesday evenings where kids and their families can ride on this bus and talk with Santa.”

It’s $7 for vehicles with up to six people inside, $10 per vehicle with seven to 14 people inside and $25 for 15 or more.

Organizers say those who attend can also take a carriage ride for $30.

The Fantasy of Lights will run from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. It will be opened Sunday through Thursday from 5-9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-10 p.m.

Organizers say people can go on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 5-10 p.m.

On Tuesday, Easterseals unveiled an “early Christmas gift.”

It’s a new storage facility funded by donations. It will be used to house the Fantasy of Lights displays.

More information will be made available on Easterseals Rehabilitation Center’s Facebook page.

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