Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens Holiday Light Show opens with COVID-19 precautions in place

Light Show

JANESVILLE, Wis. – The Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens Holiday Light Show opened for the season Friday ahead of a several week season.

The display, in its 24th year, features more than one million lights and took months to set up.

“We started preparing for the rotary light show almost immediately after last year’s show,” said Executive Director Becky Kronberg.

Kronberg says while the team knew COVID could create issues while they were planning for the event, they were unsure of just how severe the spread would grow.

“We didn’t know how it was going to unfold over time,” she said. “We’re shooting at a moving target, you know? It’s been really challenging to come up with a plan that keeps the health and safety of our visitors first and foremost.”

The display will look different, however, as safety precautions mean doing away with indoor portions of the event, including restrooms and concessions. Tickets can only be purchased ahead of the event, or online (5 dollars for children 3-12 and 10 dollars for anyone over 13). All guests are required to wear a mask.

“The focus this year is having an event that can bring brightness to what’s been a challenging 2020 and allowing our visitors the chance to come experience an outdoor event like they have in the past, but in a safer way,” Kronberg said.

In addition, the lightshow will run a half hour longer each night to ensure guests have enough time to see the display while maintaining social distancing.

Kronberg says proceeds from ticket sales make up nearly two-thirds of the garden’s yearly revenue. Tickets and event times can be found on the garden’s website.