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Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights Set to Open November 19th

6:50 PM · Nov 15, 2023

Roseburg, OR - The Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights, a staple of the holiday season, is set to light up Riverforks Park for its 31st season, commencing on November 19, 2023. This year, Brynlee Roberts of Winchester, a courageous 14-year-old fighting neuroblastoma, will be the honored Grand Marshal on opening night. Brynlee will lead the inaugural drive through the festival's dazzling light display, seated in Douglas County Fire District 2 firetruck, symbolizing a beacon of hope and strength. “Brynlee and her family are incredibly brave,” said Tabbitha Layman, Festival of Lights Committee Chair. “There is just something about these lights and holiday traditions that intensify the season for families with children who face health issues. It’s an honor to provide this chance to them.” On October 29th, 2020, at the age of 11, Brynlee was diagnosed with a brain tumor and in the days following underwent surgery to remove the tumor. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a low-grade, slow-growing brain tumor that typically is diagnosed in children. Now 14, she has undergone multiple brain surgeries, radiation in Seattle, and non-stop chemotherapy in Portland. Brynlee still has more procedures ahead. Brynlee’s family has launched the Brynlee the Brave Facebook group where her mom Sara, posts updates and visitors are encouraged to write Dad jokes in another effort to just make people smile. Established in 1993, the Festival of Lights is renowned for its beautiful display of over half a million lights and numerous creative installations. This year's event also features various family-friendly activities, enhancing the festive spirit. Festival Hours and Admission: Open from 5:30 to 9 PM Sunday to Thursday. Extended hours on Friday and Saturday, from 5:30 to 10 PM. Regular admission is $10 per car. In the spirit of community and giving, the festival offers free admission on Monday, December 4th, for those who donate five canned food items. This initiative supports Feeding Umpqua, helping those in need during the holiday season. Celebrating the tradition of naming Grand Marshals for the past three years, the festival highlights inspirational stories like Brynlee's, adding a touch of warmth and humanity to the holiday lights. Proceeds from the Festival of Lights go to Rotary Scholarships and other Rotary supported programs.


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