'Reflections in the Park' creates family traditions in Dubuque

Published: Nov. 22, 2017 at 5:47 AM CST
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A long-running tradition in Dubuque kicks off Wednesday, November 22, for the 23rd consecutive year.

Reflections in the Park has been a staple for the tri-state area that will run throughout the holiday season.

Thousands of people will once again line up their cars to drive through the tunnels and admire the collection of shining bright lights in Louis Murphy Park.

This event is a big fundraiser for groups that run primarily on donations.

For some groups, it can make a massive impact on their programs and those who use them.

Hillcrest Family Services has been able to raise more than $100,000 from the event year after year.

The main goal of the event is to raise as much money for donation-based programs as possible.

Through the help of the public's interest in the event and the over 500 volunteers that assist, it's become an annual tradition for Dubuquers and those nearby.

Organizers have come to the consensus it's the memories that make this event unparalleled.

"The families that come through and say this is a family tradition, that we come every year," Paula Paider Licht, the Director of Mission Advancement & Community Outreach for Hillcrest Family Services said. "We've had engagements at the park, we've had people come through when they are ill. And they really enjoy it and make memories and that's what I love to hear about."

Organizers say the event has become so successful and significant because the community has turned it into a must-attend event every year.

"Everyone enjoys coming and having the cheerful event to drive through," Darlene Bolsinger, the event coordinator for Reflections in the Park said. "If you work out here or just be in my position, it's just a cheerful atmosphere to be part of and I think everyone appreciates being a part of it."

The event has been going on since 1995.

The first walk-through begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. and then starting Thursday, cars will once again be able to crawl through the park all the way through New Years Day.

The event runs daily from 5-10 p.m. and people who visit the light display on Monday's can even see Santa.

Tickets are $10 per person Wednesday and cars will be $10 at the gate starting Thursday.

You can purchase tickets in advance at any Hillcrest or Dubuque Bank & Trust location. For more information,