Christmas is a special day for local business owner Narciso “Butch” Bando of Butch Bando Concrete in Delaware. His family remembers how their dad made everyone feel welcome. He likes to make people laugh, and he likes to help those in need. Butch was always looking for ways to change the world.
The family hosted the original drive-thru light show for Columbus 23 years ago at the Alum Creek State Park campground. It’s still family owned and operated and will be open daily from 5:30pm starting January 1st. 1.
For Butch, the holidays are an opportunity to share joy and help others. People in the area always tell of his loving nature, generous spirit and cheesy jokes. Although he passed away many years ago, his family decided in 2017 to rename the light show Butch Bando Fantasy of Lights in his honor.
More than 300 displays with tunnels and light walls filled with bright LED lights. Their 500-foot custom light wall is breathtaking and one-of-a-kind. As you drive through the display, reindeer jump over your car and you watch the gingerbread man do the rolling motions. Of course, there is a giant Christmas tree along the way.
Watch the nativity scene with Mary kneeling before the manger and the fish dancing as a tribute to our troops, ending with an Ohio themed light display where you can get out of your car and take photos. There’s activity around every corner during this 31-minute experience, which covers approximately three miles. New displays are added every year.
Students at the Delaware Regional Career Center created the official Fantasy of Lights radio station, which serves as the musical background as you drive through the light show. This partnership provides opportunities for students in multiple fields to apply their skills in the real world.
Recognizing the military’s commitment to serve our country, Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Light will commemorate Military Appreciation Week on December 12 with free admission for active duty military members and spouses with valid ID. 26-30. Veterans admission is $10.
Weekends are busy times here, so if you can visit on a weekday, your wait will be shorter and the drive will be smoother. Plus, there’s a $10 weekday discount. They are open to rain, snow or wind. Check their Facebook for updates during inclement weather.
Make Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights a family tradition as they support many local charities throughout the year. These include A Kid Again, a local charity supporting families with children with life-threatening illnesses, Recreation Unlimited for people with physical and developmental disabilities, 3rd and Goal changing the lives of veterans, SEAL KIDS and Steps for Sarcoma.
While there, you might want to visit Santa’s Home at Cross Creek Camping Resorts, which is part of Alum Creek State Park. Just a 30 second walk down the street from Fantasy of Lights. Check their schedule to see when Santa can be photographed.
Fantasy of Lights in Butch Bando is located at 33115 Old State Road, Delaware. Fees are $20 per vehicle Monday through Thursday from 5:30pm to 9pm and $30 Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30pm to 10pm. For more information, visit their website www.butchbandosfantasyoflights.com.