Elf on a Shelf Roams Spring Lake Park Holiday Lights Drive
A popular Christmas figure can be spotted at the Spring Lake Park Holiday Lights Drive during the month of December. Just like the character in the 2005 children’s story, the Spring Lake Park Elf can be spotted in a new place every day in various poses and predicaments throughout the after dark attraction.
Although the Lights Drive itself is approximately two decades old, the Elf is a more recent addition. He was acquired in 2017 from a movie prop company by the Williston CVB, who produces the event in partnership with Williston Parks & Recreation District.
At over six feet tall, the elf is larger than life sized. He is constructed from a wood box frame and a sculpted head, with a felt cloth body. CVB staff moves him daily into different poses and locations around the park for people to spot when they visit. Sometimes he can be spotted in different outfits. There is even a bingo card game handed out at the gate house for those who want to visit frequently. If participants complete a row on their card, they can turn in their completed bingo card at the Visitors Center for a prize.
The Williston Lights Drive is well-known for hosting special events and guests. Examples include live reindeer exhibits, take-home cookie decorating kits and visits from the Abominable Snow Monster. The Spring Lake Park Elf has his own Activity Night, as well. On December 26, the day after Christmas, there is a “Great Elf Send Off” scheduled. All the (regular sized) Christmas elves gather in the park with the Spring Lake Park Elf before returning home to the north pole. Guests are challenged to find them all!
Today, the Elf on a Shelf is a popular tradition in many households. Thanks to parents’ creativity, elves get into various kinds of mischief before their child wakes up and finds them. The story and character were initially a dud with publishers, with mother-daughter author team Carol Aebersold, Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts finally self-publishing the children’s book and taking the idea on the road to trade shows and book signings. Over 19 million copies of the book and elf have been sold since then. The company, located in Atlanta, employs 100 people and reportedly plays Christmas music year ‘round.
The Spring Lake Park Holiday Lights Drive runs annually the Saturday after Thanksgiving through December 31. It is open every night 5:30-9:30p. They are charging to get in, but it well worth the $5.00 per car.
A special thanks to Sabrina Ramey for getting us the information, and picture to use in this article.