Drive-thru light show benefiting zoo opens in Manitowoc

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 10:23 PM CST
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MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) - A drive-thru light show kicked off near the Manitowoc Zoo with volunteers spending 300 hours to put it together with its theme of wild animals.

This is the tenth year for Lights in Lincoln Park.

“Keeps growing each year, we add more wild animals and different lighting effects,” Doug Koch, show chairman, said. He has been part of this event since its inception and we hopped in his vehicle for a tour.

The Lincoln Park Zoological Society organizes the show.

“This one is probably the most costly display that we have in the whole light show,” Koch said, pointing to a Santa Claus and reindeer display.

The lights are designed in Kentucky, and preparation for this takes about a year.

“People tell me that there are people my age and they have family that live in Chicago or other parts of the country or state, and when they come home for Christmas, this has to be a part of their Christmas visit,” Koch said.

The route is broken into four parts, and next to each animal display there’s a sponsor, which holds a special meaning.

“When you talk to them why did you pick that animal, it’s just heartwarming, it brings tears to your eyes to hear some of the stories they tell you that relates to a past member of their family, a friend,” he said.

There are 70 wild animal displays total. There’s a suggested donation of $5 that goes towards improving the zoo. It runs Thursday through Saturday until December 11 and then daily from December 16 to 29.

“What the society is all about is promoting knowledge, especially [to] young people, to understand the wildlife and the animals and how they interact with each other,” Koch said.

You can’t end the tour without stopping to see Santa Claus, who is there every Friday.

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