Santa’s Rock-n-Lights at Werner Park sets record turnout

Published: Nov. 29, 2020 at 6:15 PM CST
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - A record-shattering 20,000 people drove through Santa’s Rock-n-Lights at Werner Park during the show’s first week.

That success didn’t come without some complaints from guests who waited hours in line -- and inside their cars -- before their stroll through towers and tunnels of holiday lights.

“We’ve now learned what the show can handle. You can do the metrics mathematically, but seeing it in actuality -- things are different,” said Peter Starykowicz, president of the company All Community Events, which runs the show.

COVID-19 is driving metro-area families to the display, which sprawls through the Werner Park parking lot.

“It’s all over Facebook,” a family from Bennington said. “It’s cool to see. I mean, what else is there to do?”

Guests remain in their cars and most come with members of their household. But event planners didn’t expect such a high turnout this season, which resulted in heavy traffic and kept customers like Hayley Chicoine and her family within their car for nearly two-and-a-half hours. She said her family didn’t expect such a long wait-time.

“We just hopped in the car and expected to be gone for an hour,” Chicoine said.

Getting your hands on tickets is about to get a whole lot harder.

All Community Events is decreasing the number of ticket sale quantities in order to shorten the lines of cars and get guests through the display on time. Tickets are sold according to scheduled time slots.

In a year desperate for holiday cheer, the company’s president says providing a pleasant experience is more important than profits.

“What’s most important is, when people come out, they enjoy what they’re here to see,” Starykowicz said. “We were here last year, we’re here this year, and we’re going to be here when there’s no pandemic. We want people to know we’re here to put on a good show for them.”

All Community Events expects weekends time slots to sell out in December. The show runs through January 3.

Tickets are available online.

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