Southern Lights Holiday Festival Opens Friday

 A family tradition in Kentucky, the Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc., returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Nov. 21-Dec. 31.

More than 115,000 individuals in more than 27,000 vehicles attend Southern Lights annually from Kentucky and beyond, giving Southern Lights status as a premier holiday event in the region and nation.  


The American Bus Association (ABA) selected Southern Lights a "Top 100" event for 2014, which is an annual compendium of the best events for group travel in the United States and Canada.

Winners are chosen from hundreds of celebrations, festivals, fairs, commemorative events and more that have been nominated by ABA members.

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association has again selected Southern Lights a Top 10 Winter/Holiday Event in Kentucky.  


With all the family-friendly activities offered, Southern Lights has grown into a well-known Bluegrass tradition over the last 21 years.

Kids of all ages delight in the holiday driving tour.

Visitors take in the Christmas Village, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," Keeneland race track, show jumping, steeplechase and the spires of Churchill Downs – displays comprising thousands of twinkling lights. 


Following the driving tour, families are encouraged to park their vehicles and visit Southern Lights’ other attractions inside the park, featuring holiday craft merchants, the KHP Gift Shop – perfect for Christmas shopping – seasonal entertainment and activities for children, an exotic petting zoo, pony and camel rides, the Mini Train Express, model train and dollhouse displays, and photos with Santa. Guests may also enjoy an encounter with live reindeer.


The Southern Lights driving route is open from 5:30-10 p.m. nightly.

The other attractions inside the park will be open every night except Nov. 27 and Dec. 24-31.

The cost is $15 per passenger car Sunday through Thursday evenings and $20 per passenger car on Friday and Saturday nights.

The cost for an extended van or limousine is $30, a mini-bus is $50, a school bus is $75 and a motorcoach is $125.  


All proceeds support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation.  

The 2014 Southern Lights Shining Star Presenting Sponsor is Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc.; the Holly & Ivy Sponsor is Kerr Brothers Funeral Homes; and the Ribbons & Bows Sponsors are Central Bank, Kentucky Utilities and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.


Information on Southern Lights can be obtained by contacting the KHP Foundation at 859- 255-5727 or at, or by visiting or




November 21-22        Miniature Crafts Weekend

           "Make and take" dollhouse furniture craft in the museum lobby (while supplies last)


November 27             Thirsty Thursdays

           Admission gate will pass out free Pepsi products (while supplies last)


November 28-29        Breyer Weekend

           Free Breyer giveaways at the admission gate on Friday and Saturday night to the first 50 children through the gate

           Children get to paint their own Breyer horse in the museum lobby (while supplies last)


December 3                Toyota Night

           Toyota will have a display car and giveaways in front of restaurant 

           Toyota employees will be at the admission gate giving away free tickets (while supplies last)


December 4                Thirsty Thursdays

•         Admission gate will pass out free Pepsi products (while supplies last)


December 5-6                         Spirit of the Horse Christmas Holiday Extravaganza

           Live performance in Alltech Arena – guests must purchase individual tickets at an additional charge 

           Purchase tickets in advance at or at ticket windows 

           Please allow extra time for traffic at Southern Lights


December 11              Thirsty Thursdays

           Admission gate will pass out free Pepsi products (while supplies last)


December 12-13         Frosty Family Fun Weekend

           Bounce house at the restaurant

           Face painting and balloons in the museum lobby (while supplies last)


December 18              Military Night

           All active duty and veteran military that show proper military ID will receive free admission for one personal vehicle 


Editor’s Note:  Some electronic map services available on Apple and Android mobile and auto GPS devices are not providing accurate directions to the Kentucky Horse Park. We recommend that guests input directions to the KHP Campground, the entrance to Southern Lights, at 3785 Campground Road, Lexington, KY 40511. 


Additionally, we recommend that visitors use home computers to access a mapping service for directions, use the directions provided on the KHP website, (available on the widget on the right-hand side under Address or at ), follow the brown highway signs or call ahead to double-check their route. We also recommend that out-of-town visitors use Interstate 75, Exit 115 (Newtown Pike) instead of Exit 120 (Iron Works Pike) to access the Southern Lights entrance at the KHP Campground from the east to help avoid congestion from the west and a left-hand turn across traffic into the park. 


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