Meadow Lights, the best Christmas attraction around

Al Curle, Opinions Editor

Lit-up figures glisten in the distance as far as the eye can see, while a train bobs around the track. This quaint little scene could be in any Christmas movie, but it’s all season long at Meadow Lights. 

What makes this the best Christmas attraction in the area?

Besides it being picturesque, Meadow Lights fosters a small little community for the duration of waiting to go on the ride through the lights.

Started in 1994 in Benson, North Carolina, this little attraction gathers crowds that fill the parking lot and form lines that stretch around the white vinyl fence. Some of these patrons eat candy from the general store, others drink hot chocolate from the stand ahead, but most are there for the $3 train ride through the lights. 

The line, believe it or not, is part of the attraction. You watch the lights twinkle behind the plumes of your breath that turn into clouds in the winter air. The wait is when you grab your hot chocolate and munch on the snacks that you would drop if you tried to eat them on the train. 

The ride itself is like a dream. You climb onto the colorfully painted metal bench seat in the train that is cold from the night air. A modest choo and the ringing of a bell signal that the train is on its little journey.

On its path, you’re treated to light portraits of race cars, polar bears, and snowmen. Some of the lights tower over everything, including the large sign lit with the words “Meadow Lights.”

After a little trip around the ten-acre track, your train returns to where it started and you walk out the white vinyl gate and to the parking lot. It’s from here that you can still grab candy if you hadn’t already from the large candy store.

The store has a row of baskets all filled to the brim with pieces of wrapped candy. Wooden posts hold up the ceiling and fit in nicely with the wood-paneled walls. The smell of the candy and the wood panels create a lullaby of vintage hometown aroma.

After you’ve gotten your fill of lights, candy, and hot chocolate, you can exit the gravel parking lot to the road. All the way down the road, the same lights and displays that greeted you will bid you farewell from the best Christmas attraction around.