As the winter nights draw in, this festival transforms the landscape into an enchanting realm of fairy lights, twinkling trees, and captivating Christmas displays.
Each year, visitors are invited to bask in the glow of over half a million lights, creating a magical tapestry that illuminates the season’s spirit. Join us as we embark on a luminous journey through this beloved light festival, a true highlight of the holiday season.
About the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights
The Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights, a cherished annual tradition in Douglas County, Oregon, first cast its glow in 1993. Since its inception, this festival has grown exponentially, becoming a cornerstone of the community’s winter celebrations. Each year, the park is transformed into a sparkling wonderland, adorned with over half a million lights and more than 90 enchanting displays.
This festival is not just about lights; it also features beloved attractions like the World’s Largest Nutcracker and the Dutch Bros Holiday Village, where the festive spirit is in full swing. Visitors can meet Santa Claus, indulge in warm hot chocolate, and savor freshly baked treats, making for a delightful experience.
Featured Lighting Displays
- Fairy Lights: Enchanting strands of delicate fairy lights create a whimsical ambiance, weaving through trees and outlining pathways.
- Christmas Trees: Towering trees wrapped in vibrant lights, standing as beacons of the holiday spirit.
- Santa’s Sleigh and Reindeer: A dynamic display featuring Santa’s sleigh soaring through a starlit sky.
- Winter Wonderland Scenes: Scenes depicting the joys of winter, from snowmen families to ice-skating figures.
- Nativity Scene: A traditional display telling the story of Christmas with peaceful, glowing figures.
- Animated Displays: Various scenes come to life with animation, adding movement and magic to the experience.
Festival Hours (2023 – 2024)
The Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights began its enchanting display on November 19, 2023, welcoming visitors to immerse themselves in a world of festive lights and holiday cheer. This captivating event will continue to light up River Forks County Park in Roseburg, Oregon, until January 1, 2024.
Throughout this period, the festival gates open each evening, inviting guests to experience the magical transformation of the park into a winter wonderland. This annual spectacle offers a perfect opportunity for families, friends, and visitors to celebrate the holiday season amidst a dazzling array of lights and joyous attractions.
Where It’s Located and How to Get There
The Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights is held at the scenic River Forks County Park, located in Roseburg, Oregon, United States. This idyllic setting serves as the perfect backdrop for the festival, providing a spacious and picturesque environment for the spectacular light displays.
River Forks County Park, with its natural beauty and easy accessibility, has become synonymous with the festival, drawing visitors from near and far to witness the annual transformation into a luminous wonderland.
Accessing the Festival from the Nearest Airport
The nearest major airport to River Forks County Park is the Eugene Airport, located approximately 70 miles north of Roseburg. Visitors have several convenient options for traveling from the airport to the festival:
- Rental Cars: Available at the airport, offering the flexibility to explore the region at your own pace.
- Shuttle Services: Several shuttle companies operate between Eugene Airport and Roseburg, providing a direct and comfortable ride.
- Taxi or Ride-Share Services: Taxis and ride-share options like Uber and Lyft offer personalized transportation to the festival.
Traveling by Train from Other Cities
For those considering a scenic train journey to the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights, here’s a detailed guideline on reaching Roseburg by train from various cities:
From Portland, OR:
- Board the Amtrak Cascades or Coast Starlight train from Portland Union Station.
- Travel southbound towards Eugene.
- Transfer to a connecting bus service or rent a car in Eugene for the remaining journey to Roseburg.
From Seattle, WA:
- Take the Amtrak Cascades or Coast Starlight train from King Street Station.
- Enjoy the picturesque route through the Pacific Northwest.
- Upon arrival in Eugene, switch to a bus or rental car for the final leg to Roseburg.
From San Francisco, CA:
- Begin your journey from the San Francisco Bay Area (Emeryville Station) aboard the Coast Starlight train.
- Travel north through California and into Oregon.
- From Eugene, Oregon, complete your journey to Roseburg via bus or car rental.
From Sacramento, CA:
- Depart from Sacramento Valley Station on the Coast Starlight train.
- Traverse the scenic route northbound towards Oregon.
- In Eugene, opt for a bus service or a car rental to reach River Forks County Park in Roseburg.
If you liked Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights, you might want to check out these other amazing lights festivals as well:
The Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights operates with varying hours to accommodate the preferences of all visitors. Here is a breakdown of the festival hours:
- Sunday to Thursday: From 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM, the festival welcomes visitors to bask in the radiant glow of the lights. This time frame offers a cozy evening experience, perfect for families and those who prefer a quieter visit.
- Friday and Saturday: On these days, the festival extends its hours from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM. The extended hours on weekends are ideal for those who want to savor the luminous spectacle a little longer or for visitors who are only able to attend during the weekend.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights
The Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights offers an accessible and budget-friendly experience for all its visitors. The admission fee to this captivating festival is set at $10 per car. This reasonable pricing allows everyone in the vehicle to experience the festival’s dazzling displays and enchanting attractions without any additional cost.
Importantly, this admission fee includes more than just entry to the light displays. Visitors are also granted free entry to the Dutch Bros Holiday Village, a festive hub within the festival grounds. Here, guests can immerse themselves in the holiday spirit, meeting Santa Claus, enjoying seasonal refreshments, and partaking in the merry atmosphere that the village offers. This inclusion provides a complete festival experience, making the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights not only an exhibition of lights but also a place of festive celebration and joy.
Weather and What to Wear
The weather in Roseburg, Oregon, during the months of November to December, characteristic of the Pacific Northwest, presents a cool and often damp climate. Visitors to the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights during this period can expect:
- Temperatures: Generally, the temperature ranges from a low of around 35°F (2°C) to a high of approximately 50°F (10°C). These temperatures can provide a crisp and invigorating backdrop to the festival’s luminous displays.
- Precipitation: Rain is quite common in Roseburg during these months, adding to the region’s lush scenery but also requiring some preparation for outdoor activities.
Recommended Clothing for Festival Visitors
To fully enjoy the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights in comfort, we recommend the following attire:
- Warm Coat or Jacket: Essential for staying warm during the cool evenings.
- Waterproof Outer Layer: A raincoat or waterproof jacket to stay dry during intermittent showers.
- Layers: Dressing in layers (like thermal wear, sweaters) allows for adaptability to changing temperatures.
- Hat and Gloves: Keep your head and hands warm, enhancing your overall comfort.
- Sturdy, Waterproof Footwear: Ideal for navigating the park and any damp areas.
- Umbrella: Useful for rain protection while walking around the Dutch Bros Holiday Village or any outdoor areas of the festival.
Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby
After a mesmerizing evening at the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights, finding a comfortable place to rest is essential. Here are some nearby hotels that offer a blend of convenience, comfort, and amenities to enhance your stay in Roseburg:
Days Inn by Wyndham Roseburg
- Location: Conveniently situated in the heart of Roseburg.
- Description: This 2-star hotel is a great choice for travelers looking for an affordable yet comfortable stay. It offers a friendly atmosphere and easy access to local attractions.
- Amenities: Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, ensuring a great start to the day. The hotel also provides free parking, making it easy for those traveling by car.
Best Western Plus Hartford Lodge
- Location: Located in Sutherlin, Oregon.
- Description: As a 3-star hotel, it combines comfort with excellent service, catering to both business and leisure travelers.
- Amenities: The hotel is pet-friendly, welcoming your furry friends. It also offers free parking, adding to the convenience for guests with vehicles.
Super 8 by Wyndham Roseburg
- Location: Positioned close to the city center and the festival site.
- Description: This 2-star hotel is known for its friendly staff and clean, comfortable rooms, making it a popular choice among visitors.
- Amenities: Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning and relax in the indoor pool, a unique feature for a hotel in this category.
Where to Eat
Exploring the culinary landscape is a delightful part of any festival experience, and Roseburg offers a variety of dining options to satisfy your palate after a visit to the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights:
True Kitchen + Bar
- Location: Nestled in the heart of Roseburg, easily accessible for diners.
- Description: True Kitchen + Bar is renowned for its refined New American dinners, offering a sophisticated dining experience. The restaurant has a welcoming atmosphere that caters to a diverse clientele, including vegan options and a kid-friendly menu.
- Signature Dishes: The menu features exquisite choices like Vegetable Stir Fry for those seeking a healthy option, Filet Mignon for a classic indulgence, and Hazelnut Pesto Primavera, a delightful fusion of flavors.
Dino’s Ristorante Italiano
- Location: Centrally located in Roseburg, perfect for a post-festival Italian feast.
- Description: This Italian eatery is a gem for lovers of authentic Italian cuisine, offering vegan dishes and a kids’ menu, making it ideal for families and diverse dining groups.
- Signature Dishes: The menu boasts classic Italian favorites such as rich and hearty Lasagna, flavorful Shrimp Scampi, and a creamy Chicken Alfredo, each dish prepared with a touch of traditional Italian culinary artistry.
- Location: Situated in a vibrant area of Roseburg, it’s a great spot for both casual and special dining occasions.
- Description: Brix Grill is celebrated for its creative American dishes, complemented by a selection of cocktails and beer. The restaurant also features a private dining room for intimate gatherings or special occasions.
- Signature Dishes: The menu is diverse, featuring dishes like savory Fish Tacos, the wholesome Chicken Caprese Bowl, and the Garden Grilled Vegan Cheese, catering to a range of tastes and dietary preferences.
More Things to Do in the Area
Beyond the twinkling lights of the Umpqua Valley Festival, Roseburg and its surroundings offer a variety of attractions, perfect for those looking to explore more of what the area has to offer:
Fir Grove Park
- Location: Situated in the heart of Roseburg, easily accessible for a day of leisure.
- Description: Fir Grove Park is a haven of greenery and recreation in the city. It’s an ideal spot for families and nature enthusiasts, featuring well-maintained walking paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
- Activities: Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls, have a picnic under the shade of tall trees, or let children play in the safe and engaging playgrounds. It’s a perfect place to relax and unwind in a natural setting.
River Forks Park
- Location: Located in Roseburg, Oregon.
- Description: River Forks Park is known for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. The park offers a tranquil environment with stunning views of the Umpqua River, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
- Activities: Here, visitors can engage in fishing, boating, or simply enjoy a peaceful day by the river. The park’s open spaces and water access provide a perfect setting for a variety of outdoor activities.
- Location: Nestled in the Umpqua National Forest, a scenic drive from Roseburg.
- Description: Clearwater Falls is a hidden gem in the Umpqua National Forest, known for its picturesque cascading waters and serene natural surroundings. This waterfall is part of the renowned Umpqua River Basin, which is dotted with numerous stunning waterfalls.
- Activities: The area around Clearwater Falls offers hiking trails leading to breathtaking viewpoints, photography opportunities, and spots for quiet contemplation amidst nature’s beauty. It’s an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil escape and a chance to connect with the outdoors.
A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Experience at Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights
As the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights draws to a close, we reflect on the radiant memories created amidst the glow of fairy lights and festive displays. This festival, a beacon of joy and community in Roseburg, Oregon, not only illuminates the winter nights but also warms the hearts of all who visit.
We invite you to carry the spirit of this enchanting event with you, letting the light of joy, peace, and togetherness shine throughout the year. Until we meet again under the shimmering canopy of lights, we wish you a season filled with wonder and a new year bright with possibilities.
Is there parking available at the festival?
Yes, ample parking is available at River Forks County Park for visitors attending the festival.
Are pets allowed at the festival?
Pets are welcome at the festival, but they must remain inside vehicles for their safety and the safety of other festival-goers.
Is smoking permitted in the festival area?
Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted within the festival grounds to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors.
Can I buy tickets in advance?
Tickets can be purchased online. For more information, visit the festival’s official website.
Is the festival accessible for visitors with disabilities?
Yes, the festival is designed to be accessible for all. Special accommodations are available for visitors with disabilities.
Are there restrooms available on site?
Yes, there are restroom facilities available on site.
Can we bring our own food and drinks to the festival?
Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drinks, but please remember to keep the park clean and dispose of trash properly.
Is there any special pricing for large groups or buses?
For special pricing, please inquire with the festival’s official website.