Turn Up the Lights
Christmas in Roseland 2020
It’s as much a Christmas tradition as ornament-filled trees, colorfully-wrapped presents and steam-rising hot chocolate.
Christmas in Roseland 2020, highlighted by a three-quarter mile walk through the beautifully lit gardens of Shreveport’s American Rose Center, will return for its 38th year. The attraction opens Thanksgiving weekend and will be open each weekend – and then a few more days – until Dec. 23. Admission is $5 per person or $20 for a carload (ages 2 and under are free). Group rates are also available.
“People look forward to it,” said Jon Corkern, executive director of the American Rose Society. “I get asked all the time about Christmas in Roseland. People come out every year. It’s a family tradition. The day after Thanksgiving or right before Christmas Eve, they love coming to see the lights, getting the funnel cakes, eating the corn dogs.”
This year, the American Rose Center and its gardens will be lit like never before. $30,000 worth of new LED lights have been added to the 20,000 lights installed last year.
“There will be more of them, and they will be a lot brighter,” Corkern said. “LED lights show up a lot better and a lot cleaner. They are a lot more energy-efficient and obviously good for the environment as well.”
This year, more of the gardens will be lit. In years past, you could only walk along one sidewalk to view the lights, which covered just a portion of the gardens.
“We’ve expanded our electricity throughout the gardens, so now you will be able to walk through the whole garden with the whole garden being lit up with Christmas lights,” Corkern said.
But Christmas in Roseland 2020 is more than just lights strung along rose bushes. It’s an LED wall of lights, a 25-foot lit Eiffel Tower (really an oil well), and an RGB tunnel.
“When you go through it, the kids absolutely love it,” Corkern said of the “tunnel” of lights surrounding a bridge. ”It was a new addition last year. You walk across the bridge, and there are lights around the whole bridge that dance to music.”
Speaking of music, Corkern promises you will be able to hear your favorite songs throughout the gardens.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re standing,” Corkern said, “You’re going to hear Christmas music.”
And there will be plenty of variety. “It goes from the fun stuff, like ‘Mr. Grinch,’ to ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ to ‘Winter Wonderland,’” Corkern said. “There will be all types of music.”
A tradition within a tradition is called “Christmas Cards in the Community.” Started in 1982, these displays feature the work of art students throughout the Ark-La-Tex.
“We wanted to get local art students involved, to get them to be a part of Christmas in Roseland and to be able to show their abilities,” Corkern explained. There will be first, second and third place awards for elementary, middle and high school student entries. Plus, you can have a say in voting for the “Members Choice” award. Visitors can vote for their favorite “card.” The artist of the card which gets the most votes will win a cash prize for their school.
Now you may get a little hungry during your visit to Christmas in Roseland 2000. If so, there’s no need to wait until you leave to grab something to eat. Corn dogs and funnel cakes will be available for purchase, but last year’s big attraction returns with a marshmallow roasting station. Corkern said it was a huge hit. For a dollar a marshmallow, “We give you a big ol’ long stick, and we have a big fire pit that works off propane,” Corkern said. “You take your big long stick with your giant marshmallow, and you get to roast a marshmallow.”
To promote cleanliness during the pandemic, Corkern says there will be handsanitizing stations throughout the garden.
There will also be an effort to practice social distancing. To that end, you are encouraged to buy your tickets through the online ticket portal, which can be found on the American Rose Center’s website. In accordance with size restrictions, the number of people on the grounds at any one time will be limited to 500.
“We have everything from music to lights,” Corkern said. “We have more lights. We have more family fun than you can imagine. The gardens have totally been redone, and a lot of the lights have been totally redone. Come check us out, because it’s not like what you’ve seen in the past. It’s even better.”
To learn more about Christmas in Roseland, you may visit www.rose.org/christmas-in-roseland.