Friday, December 4, 2020

Christmas at the Racetrack: Winter Wonderland at P.I.R.

Billed as the largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi, the Winter Wonderland light displays span the track at the Portland International Raceway. This Portland classic has drawn crowds for 28 years, and the ticket proceeds benefit the Sunshine Division, helping families in need during the holiday season. 

This is one Christmas event that can be enjoyed from your car, which makes it particularly appealing during Portland's wet winter evenings. Bring the whole family, and if you're coming during the weekend, bring snacks to munch while you wait in line. Sponsors also note that the week before Christmas is especially busy, so if you can go earlier in December and try for mid-week, you should have a much shorter wait. Our recent visit on a Saturday night had a wait time of about an hour, but folks who arrived later weren't having to wait at all, so it's all in the timing. We didn't mind, though; we had munchies and Christmas music to occupy our time.

Once in the display, drive slowly and view over 250 set pieces and animated scenes along the two miles of track. Themes vary widely, from a nativity scene made entirely of lights to a pink dinosaur; truly something for everyone! 

If the Winter Wonderland isn't already a tradition for your family, consider making it a part of your holidays this year. If your budget is tight just now, go midweek; the tickets cost considerably less, and the lights shine just as brightly. 

Merry Christmas to all from the Case family!

The display begins before you even reach the front gate
Entering the Wonderland!

Entering the 12 Days of Christmas section of the display
Singing is optional, but it's your car, you make the rules

The first of two drive-through light tunnels
Elf soccer, anyone?

The second light tunnel. And dinosaurs.

We leave you with the hot pink brontosaurus of Christmas.
Merry Christmas, we'll see you next year!

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