The Festival of Lights is a regional attraction made possible through a concerted effort by the community. Tuesday night, residents will have the opportunity to take part in the fundraiser that ensures the Festival of Lights remains one of the top draws for visitors within the State of Oklahoma.
The doors will open for the Festival of Lights auction at 5 p.m. at the Ardmore Convention Center. The silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the live auction beginning at 7 p.m. In between are a number of events with activities, food and beverages throughout the night to ensure a memorable evening as people move into the holiday spirit. The theme for the evening is "Celebrate the Magic of Christmas."
"We love the overall support for the community and we look forward to this event every year," Melinda Shoemate, festival coordinator, said. "It is truly an event that benefits the whole community."
Last year's auction raised $23,000 and a goal of $25,000 has been set for this year's event.
The silent auction will include the chance to bid on a variety of items donated by local businesses, which include dinners, jewelry, basketball tickets, hotel room nights, dental services, art and popular toys to name a few items.
The live auction items, which is always entertaining to watch, includes two sets of club level Thunder tickets with Oklahoma City hotel accommodations, 40 units of Botox, a golf cart, Michelin tires, a stay at the Lake Murray Bed and Berth Atrium for 16, three nights in a three bedroom townhouse in Edwards, Colo., near Beaver Creek and Vail for eight.
"The community businesses are always more than happy to work with us," Shoemate said. "There were times I would walk by stores and go in and ask if they would donate an item. They were more than happy to donate, especially when they found out what it was for."
The event will feature new attractions, which includes a magician to entertain guests as they take part in the auction. Also new this year will be food stations, which will allow guests to sample a variety of food from sushi to cheesecake provided by local restaurants.
And back by popular acclaim will be the diamond martini bar, which will offer a special chance to win a diamond. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase an Appletini or Cosmopolitan for $20. The drinks will have a cubic zirconium in the ice but one will have a diamond valued at $1,100. There are only 50 cocktails available for the event. In addition to the diamond, there will be additional prizes, which include a spa package or gift certificate for the winners.
Admission is free but a VIP table can be reserved for $50. The Festival of Lights auction is the primary fundraiser for the new displays and maintenance of over 125 displays. More than 80,000 visitors enjoy the drive through Regional Park each year.
To reserve a table, contact the chamber at (580) 223-7765.