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Fairgrounds Festival of Lights, region's largest holiday festival, begins Friday, Nov. 24

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Tue, Nov 14th 2017 08:35 pm
This year marks the 13th year for what has become a time-honored holiday tradition in Western New York. The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg will flip the switch on more than 1 million twinkling lights at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24.
This year, the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights will be open for 18 days, with opening day the Friday after Thanksgiving. The event runs every weekend through Dec. 17, with an expanded schedule Dec. 18-23. The festival is open from 5-9 p.m., with the buildings and grounds staying open until 10 p.m.
Admission to the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights includes a wide array of activities and holiday fun, which includes six decorated buildings, live family entertainment, craft making and vendors.
Highlights include:
•"Kandy Kane's Holiday Magic Show" (new) - Fresh off his four-year run as the ringmaster of the legendary Big Apple Circus in New York City, Buffalo-native John Kennedy Kane returns to the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights as the legendary elf "Kandy Kane." More than just a magic show, Kane's sharp wit and self-deprecating humor will entertain both children and adults alike during each half-hour performance. Showtimes: 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., additional 9:15 pm. show on Saturdays.
•"Canstruction Competition & Display" (new) - Beginning the weekend of Dec. 8, local companies will compete to build structures made entirely out of canned goods. Employees from Praxair, Ferguson Electric, Hamburg Gaming and National Fuel will showcase their designs Dec. 15-23. All canned goods used will benefit the Food Bank of Western New York.
•"Rudolph's Holiday Fun Zone" (new) - This interactive children's area features the "The Night You Save Christmas" digital game and the "Find Frosty" giant "I-Spy."
•"The Polar Stop" (new) - Located inside the New York State Police building, this railroad-themed display will include toy train layouts provided by local model railroad clubs. Other activities include the Tops Winterland Workshop, where kids can make a one-of-a-kind craft to bring home. Families can design a holiday card for veterans and troops, as well as visit the Drive Safe Forest.
•"Frosty's 3D Adventure" - A 3,000-square-foot walk-through maze takes people through a day with Frosty. It's best viewed with the complimentary, patented 3-D chromadepth glasses for the ultimate 3-D effect.
•"North Pole Experience featuring Santa Claus" - Guests are transported to the North Pole as they make their way through displays including a toy shop, elf village and the arctic. The height of the experience comes when guests stand face-to-face with Santa's house, where the "Big Guy" himself will meet guests on the front porch. Families are encouraged to bring their own cameras to capture a lasting memory of the holidays. At 10,000 square feet, it ranks as the largest Santa display in the region.
•"Santa's Magical Midway" - This features an array of kiddie rides from the days of yesteryear. Each nostalgic ride has been fully reconditioned to bring back their original grandeur. It's $2 per ride or $20 for Santa's "Super Saver" and 12 rides. Kiddie rides will be located inside the Grange Building for the entire run of the festival. Larger rides will be included inside the Event Center beginning Dec. 8.
•"Upstate Farms Express" - Climb aboard this fun-sized train for a short ride up and down 42nd Street. The train will leave from the 42nd Street train depot throughout the night.
Admission to the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights is $25 per carload at the gate. The carload admission includes all aspects of the festival. Festivalgoers can save 40 percent on gate admission with the purchase of a $15 advance sale carload voucher at all Tops Friendly Markets until Nov. 23.
The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights is sponsored by the Erie County Agricultural Society. For more information regarding the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights, visit www.FairgroundsHoliday.com.

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