Train of Lights fun returns this season: Special evening planned for those with intellectual disabilities

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


A brand new sponsor and a special night designed for people with intellectual disabilities are new to the City of Wilson’s Parks & Recreation department’s annual Train of Lights event held at the city’s miniature train located at the Community Center, 500 Sunset Road.

The train will run Thursdays through Sundays, Dec. 5 through Dec 22, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $2 per rider.

“One big news item for 2019 is we have a new sponsor in Land of Learning,” said Braxton Patterson, recreation programs and marketing supervisor. “We personally would like to thank Tom and Christy Fyle of Land of Learning for taking over the sponsorship void when we lost Wee School. It is always great to have that local support.”

Patterson is particularly excited about the special needs night at Train of Lights. On Monday, Dec. 9, the train will open from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., just for those with disabilities.

“This is a night for anyone with intellectual disabilities to come ride the train for free,” Patterson said. “We wanted a time designated to help anyone or families with loved ones with sensory issues regarding long lines, crowds, loud noises, etc. This will be a night where they could come enjoy a train ride without those worries.”

Patterson noted that Christmas music will still be playing that evening, but potential sensory issues such as waiting in long lines and the blowing of the horn in the train tunnel will be eliminated.

A new ticket booth will greet this year’s Train of Lights visitors, but the old favorites of an abundance of Christmas lights and displays, holiday music and $1 hot chocolate and cookies sold to raise funds for Wilson County Special Olympics are in place again this year.

Kids' Reindeer Games Night will be held inside the Recreation Center on Dec. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m., and the very popular pictures with Santa will return on Thursday, Dec. 5; Saturday, Dec. 7; and Thursday Dec. 12, also inside the Recreation Center. All pictures with Santa times are 6:30 to 8 p.m., and the cost is $10 per picture. For information, call Wilson Parks & Recreation at 252-399-2277.