Anyone looking for a fun run or a sweet new t-shirt to add to their collection can still sign up for the annual Chigger Chase this weekend.
The chase also marks the beginning of the Festival of Lights. The Festival of Lights auction that raises money to maintain the light display, took place Tuesday night. Vice President of Operations Tyler Young said the auction has been held for roughly 20 years.
“This event is just for the lights. All the money raised from this evening goes into the displays and their maintenance.”
Young said over the years he’s watched the Festival  of Lights grow, attracting bigger crowds that help improve the displays.
“I’m from Ardmore, and I’ve been able to see what it used to be and what it is now, and it’s incredible,” Young said. “Just the difference an LED lightbulb makes in how the display looks is crazy, and they started replacing those fixture by fixture about four or five years ago.”  
This Saturday, events start at 4 p.m. with a 1/4 mile race for children 6 and younger and a 1/2 mile and 1 mile race for children from 7 to 12 years old followed by a 1 mile walk at 5 p.m., then the 5K run and Chigger Challenge.
This year will also introduce a new 5-mile trail run that starts on the main paved trails, continues through the park’s gravel-paved trail system and then leads back to the starting point. The run is timed so as runners return to the main park, the sun will be down and the displays will be lit.
“We hope everybody comes out,” Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Ervin said. “We have new displays this year, so come out and see if you can figure out which ones are new.”
Online registration for the Chase has been extended through Thursday night and on-site registration will be available at Regional Park the day of the chase. Chigger Chase T-shirts are no longer guaranteed, but will still be included with registration as long as supplies last.