The Christmas spirit was alive and well this past weekend at Edaville Family Theme Park. The annual Christmas Festival of Lights opened for its 75th Anniversary season just after Thanksgiving and people were ready to celebrate.

I was lucky enough to get tickets to the event on Saturday night, an extremely popular and often sold-out evening during the holiday season. I was not the only one, however, as the place was packed with festive faces almost as soon as the gates opened at 2 p.m.

The Edaville staff did wonders getting everyone in with minimal waiting and keeping the front gates moving, but as with many businesses these past few seasons, staffing is tough and the employees were scarce.

Though there were people to operate all of the rides and staff for serving food, the waits were long and the lines were pretty much made-up by the eventgoers themselves.

This is where my total appreciation for the crowd in attendance came in.

Honestly this could have gone a different way. There were Disney-like lines for every, single one of the rides open, but not the Disney-style ropes and boundaries to guide those lines. Yet the crowd remained calm and civil.

Perhaps it was the festive lights strung everywhere, perhaps it's a testament to just how beloved Edaville is, perhaps it was just the nostalgia of riding the vintage trains... Whatever it was, people were genuinely happy, kind and respectful all night long.

Amazingly, everyone created the lines for each ride, respected those lines and then patiently waited in those lines.

The amount of kindness and respect among everyone in attendance was almost stunning, but completely appreciated.

I could not have asked for a better first Edaville Christmas Festival of Lights experience with my family and I think the other people experiencing it with us deserve the thanks for that. 

So, thank you to everyone who chose to go to Edaville this past Saturday night. You all truly possess the holiday spirit and absolutely made the season start off right for me and my family.

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