The Festival of Lights at McKean County Fairgrounds will be operating on weekends this month.

For the second year in a row, adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic atmosphere, the McKean County Fair Association is currently hosting the Festival of Lights.

The Festival began on Nov. 26 and will continue through Dec. 23, from 5 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, and 5 to 8 p.m. on Sundays. On Wednesday, Dec. 22, the display will be lit up from 5 to 9 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 23, the final day of the festival, will run from 5 to 9 p.m.

A woman who took a ride through the festival last week stated, “The Festival of Lights makes me think of a winter wonderland.” She continued with the suggestion that “every family needs to make their way to Smethport to drive through and experience the magic of the season. Festival of Lights is a great way to jump-start the festive feeling of this holiday season.”

The Festival of Lights is once again a drive-through event due to the pandemic. Christy Graham of the fair association has been working on plans to possibly add a walking area and display contest during future events. Any family or group interested in building, or putting together a Christmas-themed display for next year’s festival may contact Graham or Chuck Kohler at

Although the name, Festival of Lights, implies the event is solely pertaining to lights and lighting decorations, according to Graham there will also be Christmas-themed wooden cut outs, live animals (on most evenings), a special mailbox for letters to Santa Claus — or letters can be directly given to Santa at the festival.

The holiday displays at the Festival of Lights were created and built by local community members and businesses.

“My favorite thing is seeing how happy the Festival of Lights makes people feel, and how happy the community is that the Festival of Lights is happening again,” Nancy Dart said.

This event is a drive-thru only event. The cost per vehicle is $10, and $25 for a bus.

For more information call or text Kohler at (814) 367-9591. Kohler stated that the Festival Lights is always looking for additional committee members, and any additional display suggestions for future events.

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