We Have Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About the NEW Timed Entry System for the 2022 Holiday Lights Display at Shore Acres State Park!
Autumn officially begins this week, which means Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park is just around the corner! This will be the first time since 2019 the beautiful holiday lights will sparkle and dazzle on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston - and the anticipation could not be greater!
To prevent extreme traffic and maintain visitor’s safety on Cape Arago Highway, Oregon State Parks has implemented a new timed entry system that all park visitors, regardless of residency, must sign up for in advance, or else be turned away. For those of us who have attended year after year, this might take a little getting used to! But don’t worry, we have it on good authority that the holiday lights will be brighter and better than ever! An army of volunteers from Friends of Shore Acres (that’s right- volunteers) are hard at work to ensure our visitors have as smooth and easy experiences as possible.
We want to do our part to communicate these changes with the public, please read the following CAREFULLY to ensure your visit is a joyful experience!
When will the Shore Acres State Park Holiday Lights Display be open to the public? Holiday Lights display will be open daily from 4 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24, 2022) and will twinkle for all to enjoy through Dec. 31, 2022, even on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
What is required to enter? A parking ticket will now be required to enter the event. All park visitors must reserve their spot and have their ticket ready to show the ranger at the booth when they arrive at their selected times.
When should I reserve my spot? Now. If you have not already done so, we suggest reserving your time slot as soon as possible! However, if you are not yet sure which night you plan to attend, we encourage you to purchase no later than 7 days prior to your preferred date to ensure you can get a parking spot.
What if all the spots are taken before we make our plans? Although visitors can reserve their timed entry parking spot now, additional spots will be available later this fall for each evening during a seven-day rolling window tentatively set to begin Nov. 18 for visits beginning Nov. 24. The rolling window will run through Dec. 31.
Can’t I just show up and pay my parking fee as I always have? No. Visitors will no longer have the option to purchase a parking permit onsite to park and attend.
Do I have to reserve a time slot if I am a resident? Yes. Everyone wishing to see the Lights this year will be required to reserve a spot and have their ticket ready to show the ranger at the booth when they arrive at their selected times, regardless of residency.
How do I reserve my time slot? Date and timed entry parking tickets are available now online . Reservations can also be made by calling 800-452-5687.
How many tickets will I need? One (1) ticket will be required per vehicle regardless of how many people are in the vehicle.
Why is Oregon State Parks implementing this new timed entry system for the Holiday Lights at Shore Acres? This new process will help people quickly enter the parking area and prevent long waits to enter the park, which will improve safety issues on the Cape Arago Highway. In previous years, long lines have backed up on narrow highways and blocked side roads, which hindered traffic and emergency vehicle access.
What do we do with the printed ticket? The printed ticket, as well as the selected pass, permit, or campground confirmation, must be presented to park staff at entry to keep traffic moving.
How much is the parking fee? A $5 vehicle parking ticket assigned to a date and entry time of the visitors’ choice is needed to enter the show. The event parking fee is the same as the normal day-use parking permit price for the park.
What if I already have an Oregon State Park Parking Permit? You will still need to reserve your timed entry in advance and have your ticket ready to show the ranger when you arrive during your scheduled time. However, the $5 fee may be waived if one of the following applies to you (you will need to select the option during the reservation process): You have a 12- or 24-month parking permit; a special access pass for either the veterans with service-connected disabilities or foster, guardian and adoptive foster parents of Oregon foster children; current Oregon State Park camping confirmation that coincides with the date of the event visit; or an Oregon Pacific Coast Passport.
What if we change our mind or cancel? Will we get a refund? No. The $5 event parking permit is non-refundable.
I’m planning on visiting from out of town. Where’s the best place to stay? To help you plan your trip to see the Holiday Lights at Shore Acres , we’ve put together a list of places to stay located throughout Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston. You can pick accommodations that will suit your needs and preferences, whether you need a place to stay that is pet-friendly, offers a fitness center, has a kitchen, and a variety of other additions. Click here to start planning!
Who are The Friends of Shore Acres? The Friends of Shore Acres is a group of volunteers dedicated to the beautification and preservation of Shore Acres State Park, the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Park system. The group of volunteers launched the Holiday Lights show in 1987, and it continued to delight visitors through 2019. The event was paused 2020-2021 for visitor safety during the pandemic. In 2019, nearly 60,000 visitors attended. Park staff expect the light show to be as popular in 2022, if not more, after a two-year absence.
Got more questions? Visit the Friends of Shore Acres website or the Oregon State Parks website for information! Visit our Adventure Page for more resources to plan the perfect Oregon Coast getaway! Click here for directions and other important travel tips, or contact one of our friendly volunteers at the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center on Oregon’s Adventure Coast and start planning your trip today!