‘BEACON OF HOPE:’ Carillon’s Tree of Light will illuminate Dayton’s holiday season starting next week

A Carillon Christmas returns with safety protocols in place

A Carillon Christmas – a celebration of Dayton’s Christmas past – will kick off Tuesday, Nov. 24, with safety protocols and Carillon Historical Park’s illuminated “Tree of Light” in place.

Organizers have made some changes this year due to the pandemic, but visitors will still be able to enjoy the Dayton history-themed celebration held outdoors across the 65-acre Carillon Historical Park campus. The plans were still a “go” as of late last week, although attendees are advised to check the organization’s web site, www.daytonhistory.org, or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/daytonhistory for the most up-to-date information regarding potential COVID-19-related cancellations.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Timed reservation tickets will be required for non-members this year. Visitors can reserve an arrival time to limit lines at the entrance. Tickets are now available online for Nov. 24 – Dec. 17. Tickets for Dec. 18 -Dec. 30 will be available Dec. 1.

Dayton History members can enter without reservations between Nov. 24 – Dec. 17. There’s a chance that reservations may be required for members between Dec. 18 and Dec. 30. The Dayton History/Carillon Park website will have details in mid-December.

The stunning 200-feet-tall Carillon Tree of Light will illuminate the sky each evening, but this year there will not be a countdown event which drew large crowds to the initial tree-lighting.

“I’ve had more people than ever comment to me this year 'You’re going to put the tree up, aren’t you?’” Brady Kress, Dayton History president and CEO, said.

“What people are telling me is, it’s going to be a beacon of hope, and we’re tickled people love it so much.”

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Each evening, the park will transform into a magical wonderland illuminated by 15 miles of twinkling lights. Holiday music will fill the air along with the aroma of hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts.

Plans call for Santa Claus and his sleigh to park next to a 1923 Maxwell automobile in the Dayton Auto Sales building this year. The new site allows for a safe flow of pedestrian traffic. Photos can still be taken with the jolly old elf while social-distancing, Dayton History officials said.

The magic of A Carillon Christmas will return, Kress said, and visitors will also enjoy a new Dayton historical experience at the event.

For more information, go to the organization’s web site, www.daytonhistory.org, or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/daytonhistory, or call 937-293-2841 and select option 0 to speak with a member of Carillon’s Guest Experience Team.

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