The 29th annual Hidalgo Festival of Lights, with the theme, “Season of Hope,” is the latest Upper Valley event to go the drive-thru route, city officials announced Friday.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s event will be a drive-thru experience at Payne Arena in Hidalgo beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and running through Wednesday, Dec. 30.

“With the global pandemic, the community’s daily living has had to adapt in order to protect the health and safety of those we are closest to,” a news release states. “While we all are undergoing these challenging times, the Christmas holidays can offer a beacon of hope, which is why this year’s Festival of Lights will be themed ‘Season of Hope.’

“The City of Hidalgo wanted to ensure that people could celebrate holiday traditions in a safe manner and carry on the tradition of the Festival of Lights to hopefully offer hope and happiness to the families in our community.”

The Festival of Lights will feature holiday lights, castles, tunnels and hundreds of illuminated displays in its 2-mile drive. The festival will also feature “Santa’s magic portal,” a 600-foot tunnel, and “Christmas Land,” which will feature a 40-foot Christmas tree and 16-foot Santa boots.

Santa Claus will also be there on select days. Participants will be able to take souvenir photos from their vehicles. There will also be a free drive-in cinema with holiday movies as well as drive-in concerts.

Guests will be able to purchase food, snacks and refreshments from drive-in concessions.

“The safety of everyone is paramount to the City of Hidalgo,” the release read. “That is why the city has worked diligently to ensure a safe and much needed family entertainment and all from the comfort of one’s vehicle.”

Tickets for the Festival of Lights will be $20 per vehicle, plus applicable fees. Tickets include a four-pack of 20-ounce Coca-Cola. Guests can purchase a Dash Pass for $40 and skip the lines.

Tickets are available for purchase at For more information visit or email