Rotary Winter Wonderland opens for new season

The annual light display in Marshfield is celebrating its 16th season this year
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 8:46 PM CST
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - For a 16th year, the Rotary Winter Wonderland is putting on a holiday light display at Wildwood Zoo in Marshfield. The array of more than 2 million lights opened to the public Friday evening.

Volunteers have been hard at work since October, and now Rotary Volunteer Coordinator Danielle Nystrom is ready to show the public what they’ve put together.

“We’re excited that everything is working and everything turning on tonight to share with all the communities that come and visit us,” said Nystrom.

There are two different ways to experience the lights. People can drive their cars through one display or get out and walk through the zoo to see a different set of lights.

“You see more with the walk-through, but you can also do both. It’s just a good experience either way,” said Nystrom.

There is no admission to get into the Winter Wonderland. However, a donation of either cash or canned goods is encouraged. Part of the goal of the Winter Wonderland is to contribute to food pantries from around the area. Deacon Ray Draeger is a volunteer ranger and a representative of Sacred Heart and Corpus Christi Parishes. He and the Parishes have been volunteering with the Winter Wonderland for all 16 years. For the last 11, they’ve helped with food collection as well.

“The food collection is so awesome because it assists for insecurities for 29 food pantries in central and northern Wisconsin which is amazing,” said Deacon Draeger.

The Rotary Winter Wonderland has helped food pantries as far north as Phillips and as far south as Adams County.

“My favorite part is opening night and we get to see the line of people line up to see what we’ve done each year,” said Nystrom.

Returning this season, the horse-drawn carriage rides will run through the zoo on Saturdays only.

The Rotary Winter Wonderland is open every day from 5-9 p.m. The light show runs through Dec. 31.

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