Preparations already underway in Tilles Park for a St. Louis holiday tradition


LADUE, Mo. – Preparations are already underway for a favorite St. Louis holiday tradition, the 35th annual Winter Wonderland. Over a million holiday lights will be set up around the park. If you line all of the lights up, end to end, they would stretch from Tilles Park to about Rolla, Missouri. 

Typically, the lights start going up in Tilles Park in the first week of October. But this year, a smaller design team of 15 people, down from about 25 normally, will work over the next 10 weeks to get the holiday lights up. The reduced crew is so everyone can spread out more and stay safe.  

Winter Wonderland is set up over an approximately one-mile loop, which takes about 20-30 minutes to drive through. 

A lot of hard work goes into putting on a spectacular show each year. Being able to continue this holiday tradition in this COVID world brings a sense of normalcy. Also, keep an eye out for some new displays this year. 

“Each year, we try and switch up things. I started coming here when I was a kid. So you’ll see some of those classics. But we should also have a couple dozen new pieces this year sprinkled throughout the park. So keep an eye out on the mile-long loop and you’ll see some new additions,” said Michael Biedenstein, division manager for St. Louis County Parks. “We’re unable to do a lot of our normal holiday events. And we’re excited that Winter Wonderland is still able to go on in this global pandemic so hopefully people can enjoy their holidays still safely and at a distance.” 

Winter Wonderlands opens Nov. 20 but the first night to drive through is Nov. 25. It costs $10 per vehicle and no reservations are needed. You can also enjoy the lights on foot or by carriage.  

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