Then things got out of hand. The light count doubled each year until the Friends decided that 250,000 ought to be quite enough to dazzle anyone. As the work has multiplied, though, the workforce has remained all-volunteer more than 1,200 in number. One visitor and guest get a special treat. The Friends raffle off 200 tickets (at $10 each) for the chance to spend New Year’s Eve night in the Garden House’s second-floor bedroom, overlooking the scene, with breakfast delivered in the morning. Everybody says it’s absolutely the most extraordinary thing they’ve done, says Shirley. Sixty Friends of Shore Acres spend five weekends and several weekdays stringing the lights. Homes by design It’s a massive effort. But nobody minds.
All we have to do is read the guest books, Shirley says, and we’re re-energized for next year. LIGHTS FANTASTIC Shore Acres State Park, 800551-6949 or shoreacre.com. Holiday Lights runs 4-10 p.m. daily, November 28-January 5, 2003. The park charges a $3 parking fee per vehicle, but admission is free. So are cookies, cider, and other refreshments. On a misty Oregon I coast evening, Shore Acres State Park twinkles like a child’s sugarplum dream.