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North Hills Monthly

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland to Light Up Butler County

Nov 01, 2016 06:47AM ● By Vanessa Orr

What would the holiday season be without thousands of sparkling lights? And now, in addition to checking out your neighbors’ handiwork on their homes, you can visit a dazzling display of holiday spirit at Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at the Big Butler Fairgrounds.

“Last year was the first year that we held this show, and the community really loved it,” said Jack Cohen, president of the Butler County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is working in partnership with Shadrack’s. “We had close to 30,000 cars come through—people from Pittsburgh, Erie, Altoona, Cleveland, West Virginia—people drove two to three hours to come here just to see it.”

And it is quite a sight to see. The drive-through light and music show, which takes about 45 minutes by car to view, includes all custom-built animated elements featuring 100 percent environmentally friendly LED lights. The lights dance in perfect synchronization to music that can be heard through visitors’ car radios.

“The show is so amazing because there’s so much detail involved,” explained Show Manager Kenneth Bostic of the approximately three-mile long attraction. “It’s not just a bunch of lights—the animation actually looks real.

“For example, when you see a display at a store of a bear waving, it looks like a clock hand, ticking back and forth,” he continued. “Our displays make it seem like the bear is actually waving in real time—it’s a lot more animated and involves a lot more detail. And when the lights are all synchronized to music, it looks like they’re dancing.”

The show takes about six weeks to set up, and is fine-tuned up to the last minute. “We want the show to be perfect,” said Bostic. “We don’t want even one bulb to be out.”

Each year the theme of the show changes as well. Visitors last year got to see Santa’s Beach Party; this year, the show focuses on Santa’s Mountain display. “We rotate the shows each year so that when people come back, there is always something new and exciting to see,” said Bostic.

Something else that people will be excited to see this year is a new access road that will help decrease wait times and keep traffic safely off of Rt. 422. “We built a new two-mile extension of the roadway so that it is easier to get in to see the show,” said Cohen. 

After driving through the Wonderland, visitors are welcome to spend time at Santa’s Village, which will include photos with the jolly old elf himself, as well as a letter-writing station (for kids who have some last-minute gift requests), refreshments, crafts and other holiday-themed activities. 

The kick-off date for Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is Nov. 18, and it runs through Jan. 8. Hours are from dusk to 10 p.m. nightly, with later weekend hours. The cost is $25 per car or family van, $40 for a mini-bus, limousine or activity van, and $80 for school and tour buses. A portion of the proceeds will benefit WTAE’s Project Bundle-Up.

For more information, visit or To see video of the display, visit this story online.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland - Hallelujah Chorus