Symphony of Lights, Howard County General Hospital’s annual holiday tradition, is back this year at Merriweather Post Pavilion with its kick-off Dazzle Dash on Nov. 19.
The month-long display, now in its 23rd year, is set up at Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, and allows drivers, and occasionally walkers, to travel through holiday light displays. Last year it raised nearly $700,000 for the ongoing needs of the hospital, according to Shannon Wollman, the hospital’s vice president of development. The event has raised more than $8 million since it began.
This year’s displays uses more than 300,000 LED bulbs to create over 100 lighting creations throughout the park, said Wollman.
This year debuts a new route of displays that now goes directly through the concert lawn at Merriweather Post Pavilion, Wollman said. During last year’s event the route was constricted because of construction at Merriweather, but now that more of the work is completed, those seeing Symphony of Lights will be some of the first to catch a glimpse of the new changes at the concert venue.
“Merriweather is an iconic location to come see concerts but you don’t normally get a chance to walk through and drive through normally restrictive spaces,” Wollman said. “People are really going to get an insider’s view on some of the brand new VIP areas of Merriweather.”
The hospital is offering online ticket purchasing for the first time, and tickets bought online are at a discounted price of $25 per vehicle. Last year over 140,000 people took in the lights, and nearly 2 million have attended the county holiday season attraction over the last 22 years.
Special events and walk throughs during this year’s Symphony of Lights include Nov. 19’s Dazzle Dash, when the displays will be lighted for the first time; Twinkling Tots on Dec. 4, geared toward young children; Tail Lights on Dec. 11, when attendees can walk through the lights with their dogs; and Midnight at 7 on Dec. 31, when families can ring in the new year a few hours early with a fireworks display.
The Howard County tradition runs daily from Nov. 21 through Jan. 1; check the event’s website for ticket information.