18th Annual Fantasy Lights Festival Returned to Central Park in Town Center

18th Annual Fantasy Lights Festival Returned to Central Park in Town Center

For the 18th consecutive year, Central Park at Town Center was transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season with the return of the Fantasy Lights Festival presented by the Rotary Club of Flagler County. The event series, which included 55 light displays along the corridor of Central Park nightly, Santa’s Village, a train ride for kids, as well as various entertainment and food options on select nights throughout the duration of its 35-day residency, has become a tradition for the City of Palm Coast and a destination for locals and visitors alike each year as the scope continues to grow in step with the community.

But like other events of its kind, the Fantasy Lights at Central Park started with humble beginnings as the brainchild of Bill Butler, a now-retired former Landscape Architect with the City of Palm Coast, and Rotary Club of Flagler County member of 20 years. The inspiration behind the idea belongs to Butler’s daughter Tiffany, who, at ten years old, expressed her joy of visiting a light display while on a family vacation in 1997 to their hometown of Evansville, Indiana, and wondered if such a display would be possible to be held in what was, at the time, a much smaller municipality of Palm Coast. Five years later, in 2002, Tiffany died of a heart condition, but her vision would remain very much instilled in the heart of her father, who would suggest the idea to the Rotary Club as a potential fundraiser and was granted the opportunity to do so starting in 2006. In its first outing, the event saw 16 display sponsors and has continued to grow ever since in scope, volunteers, and visitors.

“I couldn’t do this without my club’s support and the community’s support,” Butler said. Anytime you’re a member of a club or organization, and you want to donate or help, you have to find your passion, and this is my passion.”

Learn more about the origin of the Fantasy Lights Festival here: https://youtu.be/z9Sz6nqXUJs

The Fantasy Lights Festival for 2023 kicked off on the evening of November 25 in tandem with the City of Palm Coast’s tree lighting ceremony, where “snow” was on the forecast. Opening night also included a Taste of the Holidays, which included several food trucks serving up eats and seasonal treats as well as a visit from Santa. The festival ran nightly from 6:30-9 p.m. through December 30. All events were free, though donations are welcome with all proceeds going to a number of different charities from the Rotary Club of Flagler County. To find out more about participating as a volunteer or sponsor in 2024, visit https://www.flaglerrotary.org/fantasylights.php

Stay informed with the latest news and information from the City of Palm Coast by following us on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube, and LinkedIn. You can sign up for weekly updates by visiting www.palmcoastgov.com/government/city-manager/week-in-review.