There were strollers, wagons and scooters galore as festive souls gathered to see the Symphony of Lights on Dec. 2 at Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods in downtown Columbia.
Featuring more than 300,000 light bulbs on over 100 light fixtures, the Symphony of Lights – a fundraiser for Howard County General Hospital - is meant to be seen by car, though the chance to see the lights up close on this day during the Festive Families Walk proved to be a huge attraction.
“It is a really different experience,” said Emily Shreve, special events development manager at Howard County General Hospital. “In the past years, we’ve had one to four or five different walk-throughs.”
Weather however, has often put a damper on many of the previous walks.
“Last year, for the New Year’s Eve walk, it was 4 degrees,”Shannon Wollman, vice president of development with the Foundation. “It wasn’t safe to be out.”
“I think it was the largest walk in they Symphony of Lights’ history,” Shreve said. “We couldn’t have asked for better weather.”
After a day of rain and fog, the evening was mild and the lights twinkled brightly. Themes in lights, including nursery rhymes, toy soldiers and musical instruments line the path, which winds around Merriweather Post Pavilion.
“It’s kind of cold for my tastes,” said Hillary Carrera, 15, who had invited her friends, Clare Bowen, 14, and Katie Leavy, 15, to join her on the mile walk.
“I think it is really fun and really pretty,” Bowen said. “I’ve driven through it, but walking is different.”
Three former college roommates “from way back,” gathered with their children to do the walk, according to Rachel Carter, who brought her son, William, to join her little reunion.
The Symphony of Lights Drive Through is open Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 30 from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost is $25 per vehicle. Thursdays are military appreciation discount nights and are $10 with valid ID. For more information call 410-740-7840 or go to email@example.com.