Desoto County News

Holiday lights help celebrate the season

Photo: A view from the Light Garden at Olive Branch City Park on opening night. (Credit: @CityofOB on X/Twitter). 

A long standing Christmas light tradition is again joined by a new holiday light tradition to help celebrate the season in DeSoto County. 

For the second straight year, the Olive Branch City Park has been transformed into the Light Garden, presented by The Event Benefits. Executive Director Russ Lehman first proposed the Light Garden to Olive Branch city officials last year, who approved having the multi-day event take place for the current three-year agreement, now in its second year.

The Light Garden is being held nightly through Jan. 1; it opened for the first time on Wednesday, Nov. 22 before Thanksgiving.  

It is billed as the Mid-South’s most immersive light show and Christmas festival. Tickets are sold on a nightly basis, or a season pass admits visitors to any night of the show, including a fireworks show on New Year’s Eve. Free admission is offered to all nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters, and active or retired military who show an ID at the front gate. The offer includes all nights and special events. 

Several special events have been scheduled in connection with the nightly showings of the Light Garden, which are listed on the website.  A link to buy tickets is also located there, as well. 

A longstanding holiday light tradition in DeSoto County has been the City of Southaven’s Southern Lights, also underway as of Friday Nov. 1, will continue through Dec. 31, and this year will be open on the evening of Christmas Day.   

Southern Lights is where the city’s Central Park is filled with festive lights and viewers who drive through the park can be treated to holiday music on special FM radio frequencies aired throughout Southern Lights.  

The drive-thru light show takes place from 5-10 p.m. nightly at a cost of $10 per car, $15 per van, and $30 per bus.  

The City of Southaven began offering Southern Nights on a smaller scale in 2002 at Snowden Grove Park. It moved to Central Park four years later and has been a holiday staple there ever since.  Money raised from Southern Lights goes to local charities.  

More on Southern Lights is found on the City of Southaven’s website.  

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