Southeast Wisconsin's Largest Holiday Lights Display Opens Friday

Nov. 23, 2012

The Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights at Jellystone Campground in Caledonia will open to the public for its fourth year on Black Friday, Nov. 23, and the mile-long holiday display is set to be bigger and more spectacular than ever.

Located just 20 minutes south of Milwaukee, the Carnival of Lights is Wisconsin’s largest holiday lights display, featuring 1.3 million lights that wrap more than 500 trees, hang overhead and cover buildings and cabins, creating an experience for guests that make them feel as though they’ve stepped into one of their favorite Christmas films.

The Isaacson family, owners of Jellystone in Caledonia, custom makes every display and adds to the experience each year, so guests are continually wowed by the one-of-a-kind light show. The family strings all the lights with minimal outside help each fall, spending hundreds of hours over five weeks creating the spectacle.

“The light show is a labor of love each year for our family, and it means so much to us to welcome visitors and see how awestruck they are by what we’ve created,” said Bridget Bender, General Manager of Jellystone Caledonia. “We started the light show as a way to open up the campground in the winter months and offer guests a new holiday tradition for their families, and we’re very excited about how popular it’s become.”

Highlights of the Christmas Carnival of Lights include:

Santa’s Workshop – the 3,700-square-foot main building on the campground – will feature 31,000 lights blinking, flashing, twinkling and fading in a perfect chorus set to music. Most guests have only seen this type of display in an online video, but the Christmas Carnival gives them the opportunity to see how much more incredible it is in person!

The light tunnel – a guest favorite – has been expanded from 75 feet to nearly 200 feet this year, featuring 14,000 LED lights perfectly synchronized to favorite holiday tunes.

Dozens of themed displays that span over a mile, including gingerbread houses with elves throwing snowballs; a deep blue sea featuring dolphins and (new this year) a 50-ft sea serpent; an all-white winter wonderland with a sparkling blue river of lights flowing through it; and a wide variety of favorite characters, including Santa himself, positioned throughout the campground.

The Christmas Carnival of Lights is open every day from Friday, Nov. 23 through Tuesday, Jan. 1, with the exception of Christmas Day. Hours are 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cost is $15 per car load (up to 8 people) and $22 for limos, buses and large passenger vans.

This year, one dollar from every car will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. In addition, every Monday is Make-A-Wish Monday, with admission reduced to $13 per car and $5 from that benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Learn more at

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