Families searching for a safe way to enjoy the holidays are finding it at Historic Smithville Park, where a nightly light show is wowing visitors with scenes of wonder and joy.
Each night when the sun sets, the Victorian village comes alive with scenes of holiday magic, including 14 specially decorated Christmas trees, moving stained glass windows, and glimpses of Santa and his elves making final preparations for his annual holiday trip.
The lifelike holograms and decorated Christmas trees are the latest additions to what has become a beloved December tradition at Smithville, the centerpiece of the Burlington County Parks System.
“Decorating Smithville for the holidays is something our County has done for decades so we’re incredibly pleased to continue that tradition,” said Freeholder Linda Hynes, the Board’s liaison to the County Parks System and Department of Resource Conservation. “While the pandemic has forced us all to make changes in how we celebrate the holidays, including what activities we can hold at Smithville, it has not prevented us from giving our residents a holiday wonderland they can enjoy.”
A total of seven holographic scenes are on display in various buildings in the village, which was originally known as Shreveville before being acquired by industrialist Hezekiah Bradley Smith in 1865. Smith renamed the village Smithville and transformed it into a thriving industrial town responsible for the manufacturing of cutting-edge woodworking machines, the famed American Star Bicycle and even the world’s first bicycle railroad.
The Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders bought the village, Smith’s mansion and what remained of the H.B. Smith Machine Company factory in 1975 and developed it into Burlington County’s first park.
The holograms were donated to the Freeholders for display at the park. Visitors can enter the park off Meade Lane and the lightshow and holiday tree displays are a short walk through the village along the Park Avenue walkway.
Each of the hologram scenes lasts less than 5 minutes and all seven can be viewed during a short walk lasting around 30 minutes.