Even though Ryan Huffman describes himself as more of a “dirt guy” who’d rather move things around with equipment than create them, he’s relished the opportunity to use his imagination while putting together a holiday lights tour at Washougal Motocross Park. He will, for example, point out the fact that he was the one who came up with the idea for one of the tour’s signature displays, a “Grinch” knocking over a tree with a bulldozer.
“Our facility is bigger than you’d think, so there’s a lot to fill, and it’s been overwhelming for us,” said Huffman, the park’s manager. “But we’re excited, and people are liking it so far. We’ve all had our heads together, talking about different designs and what to do where. The artistic side of this has been fun (to explore).”
The park is hosting a “Holidays in the Hills” lights tour through Jan. 1, 2021, with tours running from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s a crazy world right now, and we want to share our love for the local community during this time of giving,” Huffman said. “We just wanted to give people something to do. Hopefully it will be something that families will enjoy. It’s not extravagant by any means, but it’s pretty neat, and very COVID-friendly.”
Huffman and his family members have decorated the 150-acre park with a variety of holiday themed lighted displays, which can be viewed via a 1-mile looped drive.
“We’re learning,” he said. “The biggest thing we learned was that we should use a lot of lights to make sure that everybody knows where to go. We learned that the first night, because not everybody has been up here before. Now the whole roadway is lit up. Sometimes we’d look at (the displays) during the day and say, ‘That ain’t good enough,’ and at nighttime, we’d see them and say, ‘We over-thought it too much.'”
Tickets for the tour cost $15 for one trip and $25 for two trips. The park is donating a portion of admittance fees to the Clark County Meals on Wheels program and giving tour participants coupons for $5 off a purchase at the Washougal River Christmas Tree Farm.
“They’ve been good neighbors to me,” Huffman said of the local tree farm. “I do little things to help them with their property and vice versa. We look out for each other. We have a good relationship, so it made sense to share something Christmas-related.”
Huffman not only hopes the tour can become an annual event, but evolve over time.
“We want to do more structured builds and have more lights in the future,” he said. “A lot of the bigger (light tours) are doing different things with computers and technology, and that’s where we’d like to go. But we want to do things that are unique to a motocross track. We’ve got a lot of cool ideas now.”