Special to the
The Rocky Brook Rocket will be on the tracks this holiday season for the annual “Rocky Brook Rocket Reindeer Express” Dec. 13 through 15 at Opelika’s Municipal Park.
Opelika Parks and Recreation is adorning the park with thousands of lights, and the train tracks will wind through beautiful Christmas scenes bringing Christmas cheer to all in attendance. The event will last from 5 to 8 p.m. each evening.
Riders of all ages and sizes can take a ride through the lights for $2 per person. Tickets are sold onsite during the event, and all riders, including infants, must have a ticket to ride. Tickets are cash only.
Park visitors can grab supper and a steamy cup of hot chocolate from the concession stand, with proceeds benefitting the Opelika Band Boosters. Children can visit Santa Claus, relay their Christmas gift list and pose for photos with Jolly ‘Ol Saint Nick. Two playgrounds will still be open and accessible for kids to play on.
In addition to the quintessential Christmas attractions, Reindeer Express is bringing an entirely new component this year. An open-air Christmas Market featuring local artisans will be erected in the park, offering event attendees the opportunity to purchase handmade Christmas gifts for loved ones. Payment options will vary from vendor to vendor, and attendees are encouraged to bring cash.
“We have been struggling with finding something good to do in the big grassy area at the park,” said Public Relations Coordinator Laura Leigh Chesser. “We wanted something that would attract new attendees and provide something valuable to our community.”
The Reindeer Express Christmas Market will not only put unique handcrafted gifts into people’s hands, but it will also showcase some of the incredible talent found in the area. Chesser said they plan to have honey, jams, jellies, toys, art, décor, jewelry and a variety of other items for sale.
Each year, Opelika Parks and Recreation tries to upgrade and interchange scenes to enhance repeat attendees’ experiences. However, according to Municipal Park Manager Matthew Battles, staying within the confines of the park’s power supply has always been a challenge. This year, they have alleviated those worries by installing an additional breaker.
“It’s going to be something to see,” Battles said. “We upgraded the park to 600 amps, which could power a small neighborhood. It’s going to be awesome.”
Because of the plethora of electrical wiring and extension cords required to light the park, portions of the park will be closed to the public during Reindeer Express. Park visitors are encouraged to respect all barricades, flagging and other boundaries within the park for their safety.
Reindeer Express is not a rain-or-shine event. Inclement weather could cause the event to be postponed or canceled. For more information about Reindeer Express and to view the event’s FAQ, visit www.opelikaparks.com.