Krug Park in St. Joseph will once again be illuminated for the holiday season and open to visitors to view lights and decorations.

Located at 3500 St. Joseph Ave., Krug Park has 163 acres maintained by St. Joseph’s Parks, Recreation & Civic Facilities Department. Centered around a lagoon, the park includes an amphitheater, gardens, picnic areas and an Italian-style castle.

Come winter, it transforms into Holiday Park. Introduced in 1981, Holiday Park features the largest holiday lights display in northwest Missouri, attracting thousands of visitors from around the region.

Holiday Park will open to visitors Nov. 25, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, and remains open until Jan. 2. Visitors are able to drive the loop daily to see lighted holiday displays from 6 to 10 p.m.

Since its start 42 years ago, the number of displays has grown substantially, with new ones added each year.

“I couldn’t even describe all the displays,” said Beth Conway, the Buchanan County Tourism Board communications director.

The biggest display shows Santa Claus and his reindeer on stilts, so the display looks as if they are flying in the night sky. Also included is a lighted tunnel and the park’s castle.

On weekends, visitors will also be able to stop at “Santa’s Workshop,” where they can take pictures with Santa Claus and drink hot cocoa.

On the south side of St. Joseph, Hyde Park will also have lighted displays that can be seen by driving or walking. Hyde Park is designated the South Pole during the holidays in St. Joseph.

Conway encourages visitors to view the displays at both parks but acknowledges that there may be a wait time.

“You can expect long lines of traffic because we have lots of visitors coming in for the lights,” she said.

There is no cost to see the displays, but donations are accepted at the end of the drive in Krug Park to secure funds for the next year’s displays.

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