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Symphony of Lights Festivities

Symphony of Lights logo

Symphony of Lights is a time-honored Howard County holiday tradition. Called “must see” and chosen as a Baltimore Sun “Swift Pick,” this family-oriented spectacular is a dazzling display of more than 100 larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations, made up of more than 250,000 bulbs. During the past 21 years, nearly 2 million individuals have visited the lights, and proceeds from the event have raised more than $7.5 million to benefit Howard County General Hospital, the only hospital in Howard County.

New in 2016

Visitors will enjoy exciting new Symphony of Lights elements including:

Hidden Word Contest
  • New course design (still located in Symphony Woods in downtown Columbia, Md.)
  • Refurbished traditional light displays and brand new displays
  • 100% LED lighting
  • Laser light show
  • 3-D holiday video (projected 50 feet high at Merriweather Post Pavilion)
  • Outdoor ice skating rink

This Year's Festivities

Drive Through the Light Displays
November 23, 2016 - January 1, 2017
Wednesdays through Sundays only

Experience the display of light creations, illuminated by a fantasy of color, design and animation. In 2016, drive through visitors will enjoy a new laser light show and 3-D holiday video!

Outdoor Ice Skating Rink at The Symphony of Lights                                 
November 20, 2016 - January 8, 2017
Experience Howard County’s only outdoor ice skating rink. The perfect holiday activity for families and groups!

Dazzle Dash Fun Run/Walk and 5K                                                                     
November 20
A festive community event to celebrate the opening of the Symphony of Lights. Friends and families gather to walk or run through the magical outdoor display of lights. Experience the excitement as the holiday season begins and enjoy games and activities for children of all ages, refreshments, music, entertainment and giveaways.

Tail Lights Photo

Bike the Lights
November 29
Experience the Symphony of Lights on two wheels! Bicyclists of all ages and abilities are welcome. Family and friends may walk with the bicyclists.

Military Appreciation Nights                   
December 1 and December 8
Bring your valid military ID and receive $10 off the cost of the drive through admission.

Twinkling Tots                                                        
December 6
Families can celebrate the season with a leisurely walk through the dazzling light displays. Children in strollers and wagons are welcome.

Tail Lights                                                        
December 13
Treat yourself and your dog to a walk through the Symphony of Lights course.- Participate in our “Best Dressed Pet Contest” and make this dog-friendly walk your new holiday tradition!

Group Walk Through the Lights
November 28 and December 20
Perfect for youth groups, scout groups, school groups and more! Experience the Symphony of Lights in a group setting by taking a stroll through the lights displays. Limited dates and availability. Groups must pre-register online.

Midnight At 7            
December 31
Back by popular demand! See Howard County dazzle with a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Kids can’t stay up until Midnight? No problem—fireworks begin at 7 p.m. (weather permitting). Celebrate with your family and friends as you walk through the animated light displays and enjoy family-friendly entertainment as 2016 comes to a close.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are interested in volunteering for a Symphony of Lights event, please sign-up here.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship of the Symphony of Lights offers your business direct exposure to more than 150,000 attendees. Additionally, because all proceeds benefit Howard County General Hospital, sponsoring the Symphony of Lights demonstrates your commitment to community and philanthropy.

Interested in sponsoring? Please contact Emily Shreve at 410-720-8706 or


Questions? Call the Symphony of Lights hotline at 410-740-7666.

All proceeds benefit Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Thank you to our 2016 Symphony of Lights Sponsors:

Ice Rink Presenting Sponsors

Howard Hughes Corp



Tail Lights Presenting Sponsor

M and T Bank

Dazzle Dash 5K Presenting Sponsors

BGEHOMEWells Fargo

3-D Holiday Video Presenting Sponsor


Bike the Lights Presenting Sponsor

Northwestern Mutual

Dazzling Sponsors

BHCInner Arbor Trust


Sparkling Sponsors

FocusOnWomenMerriweather Post


Glowing Sponsors

CVRCCorner Bakery
Dunkin DonutsGrace
HoCo Tourism  PNC

Whole Foods Columbia MD

Twinkling Sponsors

  • Alta Wilde Lake
  • Anchor Title Company
  • BGE
  • CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Columbia Association
  • Costello Construction
  • David's Natural Market
  • Dorsey's Search, Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge, King's Contrivance, River Hill, and Wilde Lake Village Centers & Kimco Realty
  • LG-TEK
  • Maryland Women's Journal
  • Nightmare Graphics
  • Sandy Spring Bank
  • Sir Speedy
  • The Business Monthly
  • VCA Animal Hospitals

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