Metro councilman says traffic largely to blame for canceling Jellystone Christmas lights

(Fox 17 News photo)

A Metro councilman told Fox 17 News on Wednesday that traffic issues are largely to blame for canceling the popular Christmas lights at Jellystone Park this year.

The "Dancing Lights of Christmas" at the park have become a holiday tradition for middle Tennessee families for the past seven years. The two-mile drive featured more than a 1.5 million lights synchronized to music.

But this year -- Councilman Jeff Syracuse said the light show is a no-go. Syracuse said the the council and owner couldn't work things out regarding "a solid traffic plan and lease agreement."

“We were looking forward to being back at Jellystone Park this year,” said Mike Scalf, Dancing Lights of Christmas Owner. “We were excited and set for the season – having hired employees, rented equipment and placed advertising. We were extremely disappointed to hear about Councilman Syracuse’s decision to shut us down. Contrary to what has been reported, we were not aware of his decision until we were contacted by a reporter Tuesday night.”

Syracuse will be answering questions Wednesday night at a holiday traffic meeting being held at Troubadour Theater. The meeting gets under way at 7 p.m. and will also address holiday traffic around Opryland.

Meanwhile, Jellystone Park said it never agreed to "pull the plug" on the light show and is seeking help from the public, according to a post on Jellystone Park's Facebook page.

"We are not required to obtain a permit, there are NO lease issues, and have always followed Metro police department's traffic plan and suggestions at our own expense," the post read.

“After numerous attempts to work with the city, we can’t help but feel we’re being singled out as the little guy," Scalf said. "As I’ve said, we are a small, family-owned operation. We’re no Gaylord. Trying to shut us down right before the holidays is unfair and unjust. We are trying to stay positive and rally our supporters, but the lack of notice on this decision has put us in a hard spot.”

The park is asking fans to reach out to local officials to express their support for the show.

Fox 17 News had sponsored part of this event in the past.

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