EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- In a year that has changed the lives of so many people across the country and in the Tri-State, a familiar sight returned in time for the holiday season – the 27th Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights is now open.

Santa Claus, along with two special guests, helped light the annual Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights in Evansville’s Garvin Park Thursday night. Easterseals local child ambassador, Ellie-Jane, said her favorite part of the night was seeing all the lights turn on. She even got to speak with jolly old Saint Nick to say what say wanted for Christmas.

Easterseals Rehabilitation Center provides therapy for children and adults with disabilities and this is one of their biggest fundraisers. Last year, the event raised an estimated $180,000 for Easterseals, a record for the event. This is the 27th year for the light display.

Volunteers with IBEW Local 16, NECA, the Electrical JATC, Teamsters Local 215, and IUPAT Local 156 worked for weeks to put up over 60 light displays. Brandon Wongngamnit says it was an honor to help out the community.

I mean, this is the definition of a community coming together. For me and my guys, it’s three Saturdays a year but we’re able to do something that really has benefits for people that need help.

Brandon Wongngamnit, IBEW

Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights will run nightly through Jan. 1, 5-9 p.m. Sun.-Thur. and 5-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.  Tickets can be purchased online in advance and during this year’s event. Tickets are also available in advance from any Ritzy’s restaurant location in Evansville.

Admission per vehicle: is up to 6 people $7; 7-14 people $10; 15 or more people $25. Visitors may also choose a horse-drawn carriage ride (weather permitting) for $30, which includes admission; no reservations are required or accepted for carriage rides.

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(This story was originally published on November 26, 2020)