Before the annual Chigger Chase, Charge and Crawl gives the first run through of the holiday lights at Regional Park, another tradition, now in its 21st year will ring in the season — the Festival of Lights Auction.
Sarah Johnson, communication coordinator for the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, said the silent auction opens at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 13, followed by the live auction at 7 p.m. at the Ardmore Convention Center. This year will be the second time the party starts ahead of time with an online auction at www.32auctions.com/FOLAuction2018.
“We’re doing something a little bit different this year,” Johnson said. “We’re kid friendly. We are pushing for more families to come. Admission is free, but tables are available for reservations for $50.” Tables are great for those wanting to stay with your friends, Johnson said.
Hot chocolate and marshmallows will be sponsored by the Courtyard by Marriott Ardmore. “We’re hoping to get on the big guy’s list, too,” Johnson said of the possibility of Santa visiting the festivities. “Santa Fe Steakhouse will be providing the food as well. It’s just a really fun, laid-back event.”

“We have three different sections,” Johnson said. “Two of them are a variety of items, which are flooding in right now. Our third is always our kids and toys section.” Some of the top toys of the year will be in that area, ready for bidders to start their holiday shopping.

For the live auction, several packages are available:

Santa Comes “Thunder’ing into Town
Cheer on the OKC Thunder to win over the Atlanta Hawks on November 30 with four tickets and two parking passes courtesy of Collision Works. Then relax into the holiday season with an overnight hotel stay at Hampton Inn at Bricktown courtesy of Ruth Young Travel Services, followed by dinner or shopping with a $100 Visa gift card from King Aerospace.

Hometown Christmas
A once in a lifetime hour-long horse drawn carriage ride through the Festival of Lights, a stay at the Holiday Inn and a $50 gift card to Carter’s Grill with a bonus $200 Visa card from First National Bank!

All About the Sleigh
Re-vamp your ride with four brand new mounted tires from Michelin North America-Ardmore and two oil changes from Hogan’s JIf-E Lube and Clark’s Derby. Car wash supplies from O’Reilly’s  and $250 toward glass repair from Glass Service, Inc., will shine it up nicely.

12 Days of Ardmore Christmas
This package is a whole lot of a little bit of Ardmore with an aerial tour of the city courtesy of Lakeland Aviation and 12 days of gift certificates to restaurants and shops all over town!

Who Needs a Reindeer?
Bid on a new-to-you 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis, in excellent condition, donated by Noble Research Institute.

An EXTRA Happy Holiday
The full package includes a clean home inside and out from Freshine Window Cleaning and Barbara Jackson Cleaning, a tune up on your HVAC system from Hunter Heat and Air, dinner including a pineapple glazed ham and the famous pecan and buttermilk pies from the Dornick Hills Country Club, a night stay at the Courtyard by Mariott Ardmore and a manicure from Tommy Nails.

“A lot of things are similar, but we’ve expanded each one,” Johnson said. “You want to talk about a package that just takes all the stress off of you — Freshine does the exterior cleaning, Barbara Jackson Cleaning service comes to clean your house, your holiday dinner catered by Dornick Hills Country Club and guests have a hotel room if you don’t want to cram them into your house. It just takes everything off your plate for the holidays.”

There are other catering packages up for grabs, including the well-known DeAllen Wint’s ham and a full meal from Rhonda’s Catering.

“The Festival of Lights drive-through is a huge draw for the community,” Johnson said. “It’s something a lot of locals look forward to and enjoy every year, but it also brings in a lot of tourism dollars. There’s nothing like it from Grapevine to Norman. It’s really an impressive display, to have almost two clear miles of displays.”

The free holiday light displays are individually sponsored by businesses, Johnson said, but the fundraisers help the city’s Parks and Recreation Department with the upkeep.

“Parks and Rec does an amazing job maintaining the actual drive-through itself,” Johnson said. “At first I wondered why we needed this, then I saw the bill just for lightbulbs — and the electrical bill.” They also provide security for the event. “A hundred percent of the proceeds go just for the drive-through.”

For more information or to preview and start your bidding early check out the online auction or contact the Chamber directly at (580) 223-7765.