York County Parks to present 36th edition of Christmas Magic

Nearly 600,000 Christmas lights will illuminate Rocky Ridge County Park during the 36th annual “Christmas Magic – A Festival of Lights” at Rocky Ridge County Park. The online ticketing system implemented last year will be up and running again to expedite the admission process and enhance the visitor experience. Pre- purchased, timed tickets will be required every night.


When: Nov. 29 through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 24 and 25)

Where: Rocky Ridge County Park is located east of York, 1.5 miles north of U.S. Route 30, off Mount Zion Road (PA Route 24). Park address: 3699 Deininger Road, York, PA.

Times: Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cost: Adults, $10; Ages 4-12, $5; Under age 4, free; Seniors (ages 60+), $9


Ticketing: Admission to Christmas Magic will be by timed tickets only. These can be purchased at ChristmasMagicYork.com starting in mid- November. Reservations will be required for each night and walk-ins will not be permitted. For those without Internet access, timed tickets can be purchased in person at John Rudy Park Administrative Headquarters once the site is up and running in mid-November during regular business hours Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed 12:30-1 p.m. daily. Timed admission limits the number of people attending Christmas Magic, providing a better visiting experience and less waiting in traffic and lines.


Who: Sponsored by the York County Department of Parks and Recreation. For information, call 717-840-7440 and press 4, then 2 or visit ChristmasMagicYork.com. For related updates, you can also follow us on Twitter via @yorkcountyparks or find us on Instagram and Facebook.


What: Christmas Magic is a 0.5-mile walking trail (accessible to anyone) that meanders along a wooded hilltop through nearly 600,000 Christmas lights, holiday scenes and five enclosed, heated pavilions. The spirit of the holiday is displayed by using animation, displays, visits by Santa Claus, food, a G-gauge train display, and an O-gauge train display.


Weather: The trail may be closed due to inclement weather. The Park Staff makes a decision on any cancellation as early as possible. To find out the status of the trail, people may call the Christmas Magic hotline. Hotline number: Dial 717-840-7440 and press 4, then 2. Conditions will also be posted on Twitter or Facebook @yorkcountyparks.


Traffic Advisory: The busiest nights of Christmas Magic are Friday and Saturday nights. To avoid traffic issues, we encourage visitors to pre-purchase online tickets for weekday nights. The heaviest traffic flows are expected on Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 23, but weather is a factor.


History: Christmas Magic began in 1984, the product of the energy crunch, when fewer homes were decorating yet there was still a desire to see Christmas lights locally. In 1984, a small budget allowed for 10,000 lights and props, most produced by the York County Parks Department. Today, the props are produced commercially and “in-house.” It takes about 6,000 hours to set up, run and disassemble Christmas Magic. To date, this is the largest program presented by the York County Department of Parks and Recreation each year. In 2017, the event set a record high with attendance of 44,615 visitors.


Lights: In 2019, approximately 600,000 LED lights will greet Park visitors. Since 2006, LED mini lights have been introduced to the trail to conserve electricity. All holiday lighting in 2019 will be LED. These LED mini lights save approximately 80 percent on the wattage of incandescent bulbs while the LED C-7 bulbs save about 33 percent wattage.


New: For 2019, the following are new or modified additions:

  • Online ticketing system every night. Visit com to purchase tickets starting in mid-November.
  • New Santa Claus
  • Additional outdoor
  • O-gauge train display by Stillmeadow Crossing Modular Train
  • New trail
  • Light-O-Rama, a synchronized lighting


Toys for Tots nights: For the 10th year, the York County Parks is partnering with Toys for Tots. Anyone bringing a new toy still in the box or container for donation to Toys for Tots will receive a voucher for a free food item and drink at the Park’s food stand located in White Oak Pavilion. Dates are Nov. 29 and 30.


Pet Night: Scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 4. Pet owners are invited to bring their pets to the event and have their picture taken with Santa Claus. Members of the Friends of Canine Meadows will be present to process the picture and place it in a frame for $7. Regular admissions apply for humans. This is the only night that non-service animals are allowed to the event. Rain date is Thursday, Dec. 5.


Special Appearances: Meet the York Revolution’s mascot “Downtown” most Saturdays before Christmas roaming the trail.