The holiday season is pretty much over but there are still a few places that are continuing the celebration which is why tonight we packed up the car and headed out to Ocean Expo Park for the Illumination that will be continuing until January 14th of this year. Rusty had seen something about this illumination and since it would be running through the 14th we figured why not. Once Rusty got back from work we packed up the car and headed out.
Once arriving at the Ocean Expo Park we noticed that there were a great deal of parking spaces open. In fact some of the lots were even closed down. Finally we found the appropriate lot, parked the car and headed towards the lights.
Once we started towards the large open area we both became rather surprised. There were a few lights on either side of the rail but there didn’t seem to be anything in the distance. Knowing that the park is a large area we moved onward. The first stop was towards the planetarium. The staircase was appropriately lined with white lights forming astrological signs. It was certainly beautiful. The planetarium itself was also open and offered a show which we had just missed by a few minutes.
We continued to move on towards the aquarium but unfortunately we found that there were only a few more lights which were on trees and along the walkways.
As we returned back to the car we took some time to look at the lights again. Canopies which were now taken down indicated that at one point there were vendors lining the larger area once visitors came down the stairs. Being that it was almost the end of the event’s run we came to the conclusion that they probably had left. I imagine that the event may have felt more festive with them around. There was also a stage which made me feel as though there may have been live music or performers at one time. Tonight there were no performers but there was music playing throughout the park.
Overall the “event” as it had been advertised seemed very anticlimactic. There was not much to see and virtually nothing to do other than walk down a small path which even at our slow pace taking time to get good photographs took us no longer than about 15 minutes. Some shops were open but all were empty. The only people left in the park were the few who were trickling out of the aquarium.
Once arriving back home I took some time to do some research about the event and see if there was any more information on the internet that I may have missed. It turns out that according to the Ocean Expo Park website this is the first year of this illumination which leads me to understand it’s small size and believe that it can only improve over time. Overall I would not say that that this is the type of event that you should plan to do as a stand alone. From what we saw I would say that this is a good button on a day full of fun at the Ocean Expo Park. Those who were in the aquarium and exited to the array of lights leading them back to their cars seemed to enjoy this but for us the hour long drive was not quite worth it. To be completely honest had we known that the lights would be less of an event and more of an addition to the time that you were spending at the park we may have left the house well before sun down and enjoyed one of the many things the park has to offer ahead of time and then close out the evening with a walk through the lights.