Symphony of Lights, a 20-minute drive-through spectacle of nearly 100 larger-than-life holiday light displays benefiting Howard County General Hospital (HCGH), will return this year. Drive-throughs will introduce light displays refurbished with LEDs and 20 new custom displays, a laser light show and a 3-D holiday video projected 50 feet high at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Light displays, both animated and stationary, glow with a total of 300,000 LEDs on a new 1-mile scenic wooded drive starting this year at Merriweather Post Pavilion’s entrance on South Entrance Road in Columbia. Visitors can listen to seasonal music on the Symphony of Lights FM radio frequency.
Drive-throughs take place on Wednesdays through Sundays beginning Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, 2017, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $20 per car except on Saturdays when they cost $25 per car. Symphony of Lights will be closed to vehicles on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Dec. 31.
An ice skating rink will debut at Symphony of Lights this year as Howard County’s only outdoor rink, starting Nov. 20 through Jan. 8, 2017. The rink — on the corner of Little Patuxent and Broken Land parkways — will open from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, and noon to 9 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Tickets cost $9 for adults and $7 for children, seniors and members of the military, with skate rentals for $4. Group rates, season passes and private rink rentals are also available.
Symphony of Lights attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year and has been a holiday tradition for residents of Howard County and central Maryland for more than 20 years. Howard Hospital Foundation holds Symphony of Lights to raise funds for HCGH, with proceeds during the past 20 years totaling more than $7.5 million.