For Jeri Jones, Christmas begins in November at Rocky Ridge County Park.
The 30th annual Christmas Magic program begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at the park at 3699 Deininger Road in Springettsbury Township, said Jones, program coordinator for the York County Department of Parks and Recreation, which presents the event.
"It's a reward doing this," Jones said. "It's a lot of work, but our reward is seeing people come out and hearing the laughter of families and seeing families have a good time together."
Christmas Magic, which runs through 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, features nearly 600,000 lights, holiday scenes, entertainment and opportunities to give on a half-mile walking trail and five enclosed heated pavilions.
New features: This year, the trail will consist of 95 percent LED lights to save more energy than the mini lights that had been used since 2006, Jones said.
The trail will feature a new Santa Claus scene, a Nixon Park Nature Center wildlife scene, a large G-gauge train display by the Susquehanna Garden Railroad Society, the Light-O-Rama Synchronized lighting at the exit trail, as well as new props, including several 4- to 6-foot tall garlands and a huge milk jug igloo from the Gladfelter Memorial Library in Spring Grove, Jones said.
Christmas Magic also highlights the park's 100-foot high oak tree that is part of the program's forest setting backdrop, he said.
Visitors can donate canned goods for the York County Parks Ranger Food Drive to benefit the York County Food Bank and new still-packaged toys to benefit Toys for Tots.
Pet Night is Wednesday, Dec. 4 - with a Thursday, Dec. 5 rain date - when pet owners can bring their animals and have pictures taken with Santa Claus.
Attendance: Jones said he would like to see at least 40,000 people visit the Christmas Magic program, Jones said. Close to that number of people visited last year, when the average attendance was 1,510 visits for each of 26 nights. The program was closed nine nights because of inclement weather.
Christmas Magic's one-night attendance record is 3,822 on Dec. 15, 2012.
The program's largest total attendance was 43,800 visitors in 2011.
Several attendees have done wedding proposals at the site, Jones said.
However, the greatest attendance trend of all is seeing another generation of Christmas Magic program visitors, Jones said.
"The kids that were here in 1984, when we first started are now parents bringing their kids back," he said. "That's a pretty neat thing to see. (Christmas Magic) has become a big family tradition for many."
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at email@example.com.