The Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota, is returning for the 19th year to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, from November 16 to December 31. In September, the American Bus Association (ABA) selected Southern Lights a Top 100 event for 2013, 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.
With all the family-friendly activities offered annually, Southern Lights has been a well-known Bluegrass tradition for almost twenty years now. Kids of all ages delight in the holiday driving tour. Visitors take in displays of the Christmas Village, the 12 Days of Christmas, Keeneland Race Track, Show Jumping, Steeplechase and the Spires of Churchill Downs—each composed of thousands of twinkling lights. New this year will be several basketball themed light displays celebrating our 2012 National NCAA Champion UK Wildcats.
Southern Lights’ indoor attractions prove to be just as popular as the driving tour with its holiday craft merchants, the KHP Gift Shop full of gifts for under the tree, seasonal entertainment and children’s activities, the International Museum of the Horse, an exotic petting zoo, pony and camel rides, the Mini Train Express, model train displays and photos with Santa. In recent years, more than 27,000 cars and 114,000 people have attended.
Southern Lights is open from 5:30 pm to 10 pm nightly. Indoor attractions will be open every night except November 22 and December 24 - 31. The cost is $15.00 per car Sunday through Thursday and $20.00 per car on Friday and Saturday. In addition, the cost for an extended van or limousine is $30.00, a mini-bus is $50.00, a school bus is $75.00 and a motorcoach is $125.00. Group admission is available by contacting Chris Nentwick in the KHP Foundation at 859/255-5727 or at
All proceeds support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. The 2012 Shining Star Presenting Sponsor is Toyota and the Holly and Ivy Sponsors are Kerr Brothers and Café Press.
The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, fulfills its mission to enhance, expand and improve the Kentucky Horse Park by fundraising within the private sector. This partnership between private donors and the support of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is what has enabled the incredible success of the Kentucky Horse Park. Since its inception in 1985, the KHP Foundation has raised more than $25 million, which has funded critical improvements such as new facilities, research projects, new horses, landscaping ventures, and much more.