Up & Coming Weekly

November 21, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW November 22-28, 2023 It's the most wonderful time of the year, almost! Cold weather, the smell of apple spice and lights! Christmas lights are a big deal, with elaborate displays popping up all over, attracting crowds by the thousands. For those looking locally, no need to travel outside of Cumberland County to see the best lights in North Carolina. Sweet Valley Ranch is hosting its 4th Annual Fes- tival of Lights. Located at 2990 Sunnyside School Rd, Sweet Valley Ranch is nestled away in the outskirts of the city, making it the perfect place for a light showcase and family fun. Families will enjoy a full drive-thru light display featuring some of the farm animals and Tiny's Winter Wonderland, named after the Sweet Valley Ranch mascot, their Brahma bull, Tiny. Owners Fred and Anita Surgeon have added additional holiday treats and surprises to this year's show. Mr. Surgeon said, "is year, we're going to have Santa's Livestock Barn. Basically, guests will drive in what normally is a hay barn. And this year we are going to bring up some of our special animals. A lot of times when you're coming through, you don't get to see all the animals. Here, you will have animals on your left and your right, along with the lights. Some of our animals will have their nice Christmas attire on." e drive-thru light display will also feature some fun new additions, according to Mr. Surgeon. "We are going to have a few characters running around. e Grinch is certainly one of them. We'll have some elves running around. And that's another thing we are excited about. When you ride through the festival of lights, and you go to our Nativity scene, you're not just going to see that Nativity scene represented very well, you're going to see live animals. You may also see our shepherd down there. We try to incorporate the characters because it's really fun for the children. You're riding around and then all of sudden you may see a Star Wars character or the Grinch, or who knows what you're going to see!" Directly across the street from the ranch is Tiny's Winter Wonderland. ere, guests will be able to en- joy carnival games and inflatables, take pictures with Santa and buy merchandise from the gift store. Mr. Surgeon said this year, they have added even more family fun to the area. "We will be playing a movie. We'll have a fire pit and s'mores, and there will be no charge for going over there sitting around the fire pit, watching a movie," he said. Festival of Lights is a passion project for owners Anita and Fred Surgeon. "We love Christmas. It's just our favorite holiday. For Anita, it has a really special meaning and we decided that we wanted to put up Christmas lights. And then we realized that we've got some beautiful animals and wondered how can we integrate animals into the attraction. at really was the genesis of our Festival of Lights attraction." is year's schedule allows families four weekends and the day after Christmas to come to enjoy all the ranch has to offer during the holiday season. Nov. 24th, 25th, Dec. 1-2 (Fri & Sat) Dec. 8th-10th (Fri, Sat & Sun) Dec. 14th-17th (urs-Sun) Dec. 21st-23rd (urs-Sat) Closed Dec. 24th and 25th Last Day: Dec. 26th (Tue) Ticket prices are based on the occupancy of the car. 1 to 3 occupants, adults and children- $10.00/ person 4 to 11 occupants- adults and children- $9.00/ person 12 or more occupants- adults and children - $8.00/person Anyone aged 2 and under is free Once the holiday season is over, Sweet Valley Ranch will be in full swing to prepare for its Spring attraction, Spring Time Adventures! March is the beginning of the spring season on the farm. Guests will be able to enjoy fishing on the farm, guided farm tours, with up-close experiences with the animals, ATVs and go-cart rentals (rentals include ATVs small enough for children aged 4). Guests who rent ATVs and go-carts have access to fun paths within the farm. Tiny's World gets a spring makeover with more inflatables added and the playground. June is the launch of Dinosaur World, an ever-growing attrac- tion at Sweet Valley Ranch, that offers animatronic dinosaurs and dino-related children's activities. Mr. Surgeon promises there will be some fun and excit- ing new additions for this year's summer attraction starting in June. To purchase tickets and learn more about what Sweet Vally Ranch offers, visit their web- site, www.sweetvallyranchnc.com or follow them on social media. EVENT Festival of Lights held at Sweet Valley Ranch by AMBER LITTLE AMBER LITTLE, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Contributing Writers Wanted Join the Up & Coming team Use your creative talents to promote community events (people, concerts, theater, festivals, sports, etc.) Basic writing and interviewing skills needed Intern opportunities available for college students Contact editor@upandcomingweekly.com (910) 484-6200 Contributing Writers Wanted Don't Just Read About it, Write about it! Join the Up & Coming Weekly team • Use your creative talents to promote community events (people, concerts, theater, festivals, sports, etc.) • Basic writing and interviewing skills needed • Intern opportunities available for college students Contact editor@upandcomingweekly.com (910) 484-6200

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