Iím not complaining about the moderate temps weíve been experiencing (at least in northern Indiana). Itís certainly better than snow in my book. But I admit the gray skies weíve had instead had left me a little down.
I knew what was needed was a little something to Ďlightení up my life.
The perfect solution included a visit to Marion, Indiana. Since Thanksgiving weekend, the city located in Grant County in the central part of the state has hosted a 2.5-mile display of lights called Walkway of Lights.
The Walkway of Lights is an annual event that extends along the Mississinewa Riverwalk, leading into Matter Park. It continues each†evening from 6-10pm through December 31.
The Walkway of Lights has run continuously since 1991, making it possibly the longest running holiday light display in the Midwest. More than 200 light displays follow the walkway along the river.
Just a few nights ago, my family loaded into our vehicle and drove to Marion for what is really a one-of-a-kind event for Indiana and maybe the Midwest.
Temperatures were moderate the night we visited so we opted to stroll for a short distance along the river, along with dozens of other people. Indiana Wesleyan University is located in Marion so the site of college students was common.
The site of literally millions of lights creating displays ranging from a barn scene to covering the 200-foot suspension bridge across the Mississinewa River was jaw-dropping.
The Walkway has different types of displays, including some with retro looks.
A couple of unusual displays include a 96-foot riverboat on the river and a 227-foot suspension bridge which stretches across the Mississinewa River.
We returned to our car and finished by driving through the exhibit. At the end of the route, we parked and headed into the pavilion where a seasonal gift shop was located.
The cocoa and cookies we purchased for a nominal fee tasted sweet after our invigorating walk. We enjoyed browsing through handcrafted items created by area artisans displayed in the gift shop.
The upcoming weekend would be a good one to visit the Walkway if you have little ones (or not so little) that will sit on Santaís lap for a few moments of secret sharing.
Santa will be at the gift shop on Friday and Saturday, December 18-19 from 6-10pm. Iíd recommend getting there early to avoid standing in line.
A one-time $5 per car season pass allows unlimited visits to the Walkway.
Insider tip: If you might visit the Walkway of Lights more than once in different vehicles, place the sticker youíre given at the first visit on an index card and place in your car window. Then transfer the card to the next vehicle as needed.
From Indianapolis and Fort Wayne via I-69:† Take State Road 18 West into Marion and follow the displays and the signs.
From Anderson via State Road 9:† Take State Road 9 North to State Road 18 East.† Follow State Road 18 East to Pennsylvania Avenue.† Go North on Pennsylvania to State Road 18 West (E. 3rd St.).† Turn left and follow the displays and signs.
From Kokomo via State Road 18:† Take State Road 18 East to Pennsylvania Avenue.†††Go North on Pennsylvania to State Road 18 West (E. 3rd St.).† Turn left and follow the displays and signs.
From Huntington via State Road 9:† Take State Road 9 South to State Road 18 East.† Follow State Road 18 East to Pennsylvania Avenue.†††Go North on Pennsylvania to State Road 18 West (E. 3rd St.).† Turn left and follow the displays and signs.