Record attendance at 2023 event in first year at EAA location

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (February 15, 2024) — Following a record-setting 2023 holiday festival, the Oshkosh Celebration of Lights will return to the Experimental Aircraft Association grounds in Oshkosh annually through 2028, after the two organizations finalized an agreement this month.

The yearly festival, which runs between Thanksgiving weekend and New Year’s Eve, is an Oshkosh tradition with more than 1 million lights within dozens of displays. The event had moved from Menominee Park in Oshkosh to the EAA grounds in 2023 because of the unavailability of the park grounds.

“When we approached EAA this past fall because we needed an alternate site for the event, no one realized how this would create such an opportunity to make our great holiday event even better,” said Norm Reichenberger, President of Friends of Oshkosh Parks, Inc., the organizing body for Celebration of Lights. “The site was perfect to expand the possibilities for the event and the high visibility from Interstate 41 certainly helped with the record attendance in 2023.”

More than 22,000 vehicles passed through the Celebration of Lights grounds, created in the EAA’s Camp Scholler area traditionally used for camping during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. That 2023 attendance total was nearly 60 percent higher than the previous year. In addition, more than 6,000 youngsters visited Santa Claus at his headquarters established at the EAA Air Academy Lodge.

“While we made the EAA grounds available in 2023 to keep the event alive, everyone quickly saw the possibilities that were here,” said Chris Farrell, EAA’s director of events. “Celebration of Lights was a marvelous display that brought people to the EAA grounds at a different time of year and meshed wonderfully with our own Christmas in the Air open house in early December. We’re already thinking about ways to make all the events even more impressive in 2024.”

More particulars about the 2024 Oshkosh Celebration of Lights will be announced by that organization as details are finalized.

About Oshkosh Celebration of Lights

The Oshkosh Celebration of Lights is an event created by Friends of Oshkosh Parks, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides an affordable family holiday light show for the Oshkosh community and surrounding areas. With over 1 million twinkling holiday lights, we are “Bringing Smiles to Thousands!” Each year we also give back to many charities within the Oshkosh community. More information is available at

About EAA

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and embodies The Spirit of Aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 290,000 members and 900 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building, and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to

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