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The Fayetteville - Cumberland County Parks and Recreation presents Christmas in the Park again this year at Arnette Park from 6 – 9 p.m. daily Dec. 4 – 20.  

Christmas in the Park is a walk-through light show.  Guests pay the per vehicle entry fee, park and then  take a stroll through the half-mile paved walking trail while enjoying the sights and sounds of the Christmas season.  

During their visit, guests can enjoy entertainment provided by local artists, crafts, marshmallow roasting at a fire pit, train rides on the Christmas Express and holiday movies on the outdoor movie screen.  Santa will be available for pictures.

Admission is $10 per family vehicle, $30 for a commercial vehicle and $75 for buses. Only cash will be accepted. Marshmallows, crafts and train rides cost $1 extra.  Pictures with Santa are $5.

Only service animals are allowed at the park during Christmas in the Park.

In its sixth year, Christmas in the Park continues to grow said Erica Brady, Special Events Coordinator for Fayetteville - Cumberland County Parks and Recreation. 

“Not only has this event grown in participation, but each year we add more lights and displays to make it new and exciting for all visitors,” Brady said via e-mail.

More than 16,000 guests attended last year.

Return visitors will see additions in this year’s show, Brady said.

“We have added a lot of new displays that will easily be recognizable for anyone who has attended in the past as well as expanding our center Christmas tree display.”

Besides the festive lights, the family-friendly event offers other activities to keep visitors of all ages entertained.

“We have a wide variety of local performers,” Brady said.  “They include school groups, churches and participants from our recreation center programs.”

A Christmas themed crafts station offers simple crafts that can be done by a child with the help of an adult.  

“We provide the necessary supplies and the craft can be completed on site or taken home to make,” Brady said.

The outdoor movie screen will show a variety of licensed movies: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Twas the Night Before Christmas, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, Smurf’s Christmas Carol.

To make the most of the experience, Brady recommends dressing for the weather and be prepared to walk.  The event is set up so visitors can spend as little or as long as they like in the park.  

“Do everything at your own pace and enjoy the experience,” Brady said.

Arnette Park is home to 100 acres adjacent to the Cape Fear River with a combination of developed facilities and wooded areas.  It is located at 2165 Wilmington Highway, Exit 100 off Highway 87. 

During questionable weather conditions, guests are encouraged to call the inclement weather line at 306-7325 before they visit.  A recorded message will say if the park is open that evening. For more information call 433-1547 or visit http://www.fcpr.us/special_events.aspx.

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