Just beyond the gates to the San Diego County Fair's Del Mar Fairgrounds lies a magical world of over a million LED lights, holograms, and projected images. The fairgrounds have come to life with light!
Under the darkened Del Mar sky, the experience is a holiday season dream. Cozy in your car, you enjoy a captivating potpourri of images glowing in the darkness. Listening to seasonal tunes on your car radio, you drive slowly through the colorful mile-and-a-half display course. The lights and tunes transport you to a cheery Christmas place.
Who doesn't associate a fair experience with the intoxicating scent of kettle corn? Various vendors have set up shop in the parking lot, and kettle corn is just one of them. Munching on kettle corn, you pass through tunnels of light to an imaginative world of projected images. These images are not static, they move and change. At times, Christmas trees and colorful presents float above your car. It's mesmerizing.
The route is lined with light displays of all shapes and sizes. The "Twelve Days of Christmas" song is well-represented. An innovative Christmas tree is actually a tower of drums. Buglers blow their horns from all points of a castle. Nine ladies dance from a monumental display.
A sense of motion is invoked as a three-masted schooner "sails" in place. Castles and medieval houses abound. Santa waves from his shimmering pick-up truck packed with presents and a Christmas tree.
Your eyes will sparkle in the glow of multi-colored lights. Look high and low and you won't miss any of the charm. Displays of poinsettias, butterflies, candy canes, and flickering candles are seen at about eye level, but some displays reach to 40 feet! It is amazing that the clever positioning of lights can create such a sense of wonder.
The Christmas feast with Santa and Mrs. Claus is delightful. The flow of her long skirt suggests action as Mrs. Claus serves dinner to Santa and his happy reindeer. The faces of the reindeer radiate joy.
At the end of the route, you exit onto the stark pavement of Via De La Valle, where glowing lights vanish in the darkness of night. But the show is a dazzling reminder that Christmas, and all that is sparkling and magical, is there for us to enjoy. COVID hasn't stolen Christmas...and this display of lights is proof of that!
"Holidays In Your Car" is presented by Subaru, and runs through Jan. 2. Tickets must be purchased in advance and online. For further information, or to purchase tickets, please visit https://www.holidaysinyourcar.com/, and click on the "San Diego Del Mar Fairgrounds" option.