Lights Festival Fort Knox


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Festival highlights

Welcome to the enchanting world of the Lights Festival Fort Knox, a radiant celebration set in the heart of Fort Knox, Kentucky.

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This festival transforms the winter nights into a mesmerizing spectacle of twinkling fairy lights, vibrant christmas light shows, and a kaleidoscope of colors. 

Visitors from all corners come to experience the magic of the festival, where every corner sparkles with curtain lights and the trees dance with twinkle lights. Join us on this luminous journey as we explore the wonders of this annual light festival, a true highlight of the holiday season.

About the Lights Festival Fort Knox

The Lights Festival Fort Knox is not just a dazzling display of lights; it’s a heartfelt celebration of the holiday season and the community’s spirit. This festival kicks off with an awe-inspiring lighting ceremony that marks the beginning of a season filled with joy, warmth, and togetherness. 

The ceremony is a festive affair, featuring activities that bring smiles to faces of all ages, such as writing heartfelt letters to Santa, a thoughtful Trees for Troops initiative, and heartwarming caroling sessions that fill the air with classic holiday tunes.

Featured Lighting Displays at the Festival

  • Christmas Tree: At the heart of the festival stands a magnificent Christmas tree, adorned with thousands of sparkling lights, serving as a beacon of holiday spirit.
  • Fairy Lights: Winding through the festival are paths lined with delicate fairy lights, creating a whimsical and ethereal ambiance that captivates and enchants.
  • String Lights: Overhead, canopies of string lights stretch across the walkways, casting a warm and inviting glow that guides visitors through the festive landscape.
  • Christmas Lights Decorations: Throughout the festival, a variety of Christmas lights decorations illuminate the night, from vibrant light sculptures to themed displays that tell stories of holiday cheer and wonder.

Each of these lighting displays is carefully crafted, not only to dazzle the senses but also to foster a sense of community and shared joy, reflecting the true essence of the holiday season at the Lights Festival Fort Knox.

Festival Dates (2023)

The Fort Knox Lights Festival is a December delight, offering a whole month of festive cheer and luminous splendor. This annual celebration of light and community spirit traditionally takes place throughout December, providing an extended opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the holiday ambiance. 

A highlight of the festival is the annual tree lighting ceremony, which took place last December 7, 2023. This ceremony not only signifies the official start of the festival but also marks a moment of communal joy and anticipation, as the switch is flipped, and the festival lights up in all its glory, signaling the start of a season filled with wonder and celebration.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Fort Knox Lights Festival finds its picturesque setting in Brooks Field, nestled within the historic and iconic Fort Knox, Kentucky, United States. This location, steeped in history and natural beauty, provides the perfect backdrop for a festival that lights up the winter sky. Brooks Field, with its expansive open spaces and scenic surroundings, transforms into a wonderland of lights, becoming a beacon of holiday spirit in the region.

Traveling to the Festival: From Airport to Lights

The nearest airport to Fort Knox is Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, approximately 45 minutes away by car. Visitors arriving at the airport have several convenient options to reach the festival:

  • Rental Cars: Available at the airport, offering flexibility and ease for direct travel to the festival.
  • Shuttle Services: Regular shuttles run from the airport to various locations in Fort Knox, including near Brooks Field.
  • Taxi or Ride-Sharing Services: A quick and straightforward option for direct transit to the festival.

Train Travel Guide: Journeying to Fort Knox

For those looking to travel to Fort Knox by train, here’s a detailed guideline from major nearby cities:

From Louisville, Kentucky:

  • Depart from Louisville Union Station.
  • Direct train service to Radcliff Station.
  • From Radcliff, it’s a short taxi or bus ride to Fort Knox.

From Cincinnati, Ohio:

  • Depart from Cincinnati Union Terminal.
  • Transfer at Louisville Union Station.
  • Take the train to Radcliff Station, then a short journey to Fort Knox.

From Nashville, Tennessee:

  • Depart from Nashville Riverfront Station.
  • Transfer at Bowling Green Station for a northbound train.
  • Arrive at Radcliff Station and proceed to Fort Knox.

From Indianapolis, Indiana:

  • Depart from Indianapolis Union Station.
  • Direct train service to Louisville Union Station.
  • Transfer to a train bound for Radcliff Station, followed by a short trip to Fort Knox.

If you liked Lights Festival Fort Knox, you might want to check out these other amazing lights festivals as well:

Bull Run Festival of Lights

Mission Inn Lights Festival

Festival Hours

The Fort Knox Lights Festival ushers in its nightly spectacle with the setting of the sun, embodying the true spirit of a festival of lights. As dusk settles over Brooks Field, the area begins its magical transformation, with the first twinkles appearing in the twilight. 

The festival officially opens its gates each evening at sunset, a time that varies slightly over the course of December but generally falls around 5:00 PM. This timing not only maximizes the enchanting impact of the lights against the evening sky but also allows visitors to experience the gradual illumination of the festival, a breathtaking sight as day turns to night.

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An image inspired from the enchanting Lights Festival Fort Knox

How Much Does It Cost to Visit Lights Festival Fort Knox

In the spirit of community and holiday generosity, the Fort Knox Lights Festival is proud to be a free event, open to everyone. This decision to waive any entrance fee is a testament to the festival’s commitment to inclusivity and the belief that the joy and beauty of the holiday season should be accessible to all. 

By offering this event free of charge, the festival invites individuals and families from all walks of life to come together, share in the wonder, and create lasting memories under the canopy of lights. The festival’s gift to the community is an enchanting experience, where the only currency exchanged is smiles and the warmth of shared festive cheer.

Weather and What to Wear

As December’s chill wraps around Fort Knox, Kentucky, the weather becomes an integral part of the Lights Festival experience. Typically, visitors can expect cold but often clear winter nights. Temperatures during the festival season tend to range between a low of around 28°F (-2°C) to a high of about 48°F (9°C). These conditions set the perfect stage for the festival’s lights to shine against the crisp winter backdrop, creating a mesmerizing contrast of warmth and cold.

Recommended Clothing

To fully enjoy the outdoor splendor of the Lights Festival, dressing appropriately for the weather is key. Here are some clothing suggestions for a comfortable festival experience:

  • Thermal Layers: Start with a thermal base layer to retain body heat.
  • Insulated Jacket: A good quality insulated jacket will keep the cold at bay.
  • Warm Trousers or Jeans: Thick trousers or jeans can provide added warmth.
  • Hats and Scarves: Protect your head and neck from the chilly winds.
  • Gloves or Mittens: Essential for keeping your hands warm as you stroll through the festival.
  • Waterproof Boots: Ideal for keeping your feet dry and warm, especially in case of snow or rain.
  • Warm Socks: Thick socks, preferably woolen, to ensure your feet stay warm.
  • Layered Tops or Sweaters: Additional layers for extra warmth, easily removable if you find a cozy spot to enjoy some hot chocolate.

Best Hotels to Stay Nearby

After a night of mesmerizing lights and holiday magic at the Fort Knox Lights Festival, visitors can find a variety of comfortable lodging options nearby to rest and rejuvenate.

Holiday Inn Express Radcliff:

  • Location: Centrally located in Radcliff, Kentucky, this hotel is conveniently close to Fort Knox and the Lights Festival.
  • Description: A modern and comfortable hotel that caters to both leisure and business travelers with its warm hospitality and convenient amenities.
  • Amenities:
    • Free Parking: Ample space for guests to park their vehicles at no extra cost.
    • Indoor Pool: A well-maintained indoor pool for relaxation and recreation.
    • Free Breakfast: Start your day with a complimentary, hearty breakfast, featuring a variety of options to suit all tastes.

Super 8 Wyndham Radcliff Fort Knox:

  • Location: Situated in Radcliff, this hotel offers easy access to Fort Knox and local attractions, making it ideal for festival goers.
  • Description: Known for its budget-friendly accommodations, Super 8 Wyndham provides a comfortable stay without compromising on quality.
  • Amenities:
    • Free Parking: Guests can enjoy the convenience of free parking facilities.
    • Free Breakfast: A complimentary breakfast is provided, giving guests a great start to their day.
    • Restaurant: The hotel houses a restaurant, offering delicious meals without needing to travel far.

Econo Lodge Fort Knox:

  • Location: Conveniently situated near Fort Knox, this hotel offers easy access to the Lights Festival and other local attractions, making it a practical choice for visitors.
  • Description: Econo Lodge Fort Knox is known for its affordable and comfortable accommodations. It provides a straightforward, no-frills lodging experience, making it an excellent option for travelers looking for value on a budget.
  • Amenities:
    • Free Parking: The hotel offers ample free parking, ensuring guests have a hassle-free place to leave their vehicles.
    • Outdoor Pool: A refreshing outdoor pool is available, perfect for a relaxing dip, especially during warmer days.
    • Free Wi-Fi: Stay connected throughout your stay with complimentary Wi-Fi access, enabling guests to easily plan their festival itinerary, check emails, or stay in touch with family and friends.

Where to Eat

Amidst the shimmering lights and festive atmosphere of the Lights Festival, a variety of dining options around Fort Knox cater to every palate, offering a delightful culinary journey.

PapaGo Food Truck

  • Location: Parked at Lee’s China Bistro, 7959 Wilson Road, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
  • Description: A vibrant food truck bringing the essence of Asian street food to Fort Knox.
  • Cuisine: Specializes in Asian fusion dishes, offering a tantalizing mix of Taiwanese, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese street foods. Visitors can expect a flavorful adventure with every bite, from spicy noodles to savory dumplings and grilled delights.


  • Location: Situated at 127 Gold Vault Road, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
  • Description: A lively Mexican restaurant known for its festive ambiance and delicious cuisine.
  • Cuisine: Features a mouth-watering array of Mexican favorites. Their menu includes customizable burritos, tacos brimming with fresh ingredients, and a variety of other Mexican-inspired dishes. It’s a perfect spot for those craving a spicy and hearty meal.

Charleys Cheesesteaks

  • Location: Also located at 127 Gold Vault Road, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
  • Description: A popular eatery famous for its American classic – the Philly cheesesteak.
  • Cuisine: Offers authentic Philly-style cheesesteaks, complete with juicy meat, melted cheese, and soft bread. Alongside their signature cheesesteaks, they serve crispy fries, refreshing lemonades, and other classic American fast-food items, making it a go-to spot for a quick and satisfying meal.

More Things to Do in the Area

While the Lights Festival at Fort Knox is a highlight, the surrounding area boasts a variety of attractions, offering enriching experiences and outdoor adventures for visitors to explore.

Patton Museum Foundation

  • Location: Situated within Fort Knox, easily accessible for visitors attending the festival.
  • Description: This museum is dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of General George S. Patton, along with the broader history of the U.S. Army.
  • Activities: Visitors can delve into an extensive collection of military artifacts, engage with interactive exhibits, and learn about the significant military history. It’s a perfect destination for history enthusiasts and families looking to add an educational element to their visit.

Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area

  • Location: Nestled along the banks of Otter Creek, just a short drive from Fort Knox.
  • Description: A natural oasis offering a variety of outdoor activities in a picturesque setting.
  • Activities: Ideal for nature lovers and adventure seekers, this area provides opportunities for hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and bird watching. It’s a great place to unwind and connect with nature, offering a peaceful contrast to the bustling festival.

Kentucky Derby Museum

  • Location: Located in Louisville, Kentucky, a short journey from Fort Knox.
  • Description: This museum celebrates the rich history and tradition of the Kentucky Derby, one of America’s most famous horse races.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the historic Churchill Downs racetrack, engage with interactive exhibits, and even experience a 360-degree media presentation that captures the excitement of the Kentucky Derby. It’s a must-visit for sports enthusiasts and those interested in the cultural heritage of Kentucky.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Lights Festival Fort Knox

As the Lights Festival Fort Knox draws to a close each night, it leaves behind a trail of sparkling memories and joyous moments shared under the glow of a million lights. This festival, with its tapestry of twinkling lights and heartwarming activities, not only illuminates the night but also the hearts of all who visit. 

It stands as a beacon of community spirit and holiday cheer, inviting us to pause and appreciate the simple beauty of light and togetherness. Until the lights shine again next year, the festival’s magic lingers in our minds, reminding us of the warmth and wonder that only a true festival of lights can bring.


Is there parking available at the festival?

Yes, there is ample parking available near the festival grounds, including designated areas for disabled parking. Parking is well-organized to ensure a smooth experience for all visitors.

Are there smoking areas within the festival?

The Lights Festival Fort Knox is a smoke-free event to ensure a healthy and enjoyable environment for all guests. We kindly ask visitors to refrain from smoking within the festival boundaries.

Can I bring my pet to the festival?

Yes, pets are welcome at the festival, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Please be considerate of other guests and clean up after your pet.

Is the festival wheelchair accessible?

Absolutely, the festival is fully accessible to wheelchair users. There are also accessible restrooms and parking spots available.

What should I do if I lose an item at the festival?

If you lose an item, please visit the Lost and Found center located near the festival entrance. We recommend labeling your belongings with your contact information.

Are there restrooms available at the festival?

Yes, there are multiple restroom facilities throughout the festival area, including accessible restrooms.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the festival?

While there are a variety of food vendors at the festival, guests are welcome to bring their own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. However, glass containers and alcohol are not permitted.

Is photography allowed at the festival?

Yes, photography is encouraged! We love seeing your festival memories. However, please be respectful of other guests and avoid obstructing pathways or exhibits for extended periods.

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An image inspired by the Lights Festival Fort Knox


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