It has long been a tradition for Carey and James Rapson to walk through and gaze at the lights and attractions at Christmas Magic - A Festival of Lights at Rocky Ridge County Park every year.

"We actually started it when we were dating," Carey Rapson said.

The tradition continued when their first daughter, Bailey, now 12, experienced her first Christmas season.

It carried on Sunday as the family of five - now including the Rapsons' daughters Ellie, 7, and Jamey, 2 - walked through the tunnel of lights at the end of the 29th annual Christmas Magic.

With baby number four - a boy - due in March, James Rapson said the family tradition will continue for years to come.

"So we'll be coming for a long time," he said.

New features: While witnessing the sparkling and glimmering lights at the county park in Springettsbury Township is nothing new for the Rapson family, some displays are new this year.

Included among the new scenes this year are a "Christmas at the Beach" Santa Claus scene and a holiday scene by the York County SPCA.

Also new this year will be Cinderella's carriage converted to a Christmas theme and a volcano with a dinosaur scene.

For the first time, all of the nearly 600,000 lights are LED, which means a more environmentally friendly display and lower electric bills.

Perennial favorites like the gingerbread house, light-o-rama and train displays are back as well.

The event runs through Dec. 31 at Rocky Ridge County Park, 3699 Deininger Road.

'Moon and stars': For the Rapsons, visiting the yearly light display signals the transition from autumn to winter, James Rapson said.

"The girls really like it," he said. "It gets us more into the Christmas spirit."

The family generally attends Christmas Magic the first weekend it's open and then pops by the display again closer to the holiday.

Favorite displays the Rapson girls look forward to each year are the train displays and a visit with Santa, they said.

"I like that it's outdoors and its not inside and you're all cramped up," Bailey said. "You're out under the moon and stars."

If you go: Christmas Magic - A Festival of Lights hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors age 60 and over, $6 for children age 4 to 12, and free for children age 3 and under.

Visitors are welcome to bring canned goods to donate to the York County Parks Ranger Food Drive. The items will be given to the York County Food Bank.

The display will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.

For more information call 840-7443 or visit

- Reach Greg Gross at