Oskaloosa's Newest Holiday Tradition
Synchronized to Perfection: Oskaloosa’s Square transforms into the ultimate holiday destination
OSKALOOSA, IA – The City of Oskaloosa and the Oskaloosa Golden Goose Club are delighted to share a new mix of creativity, light, and sound to add to the holiday tradition and promise to bring joy to Oskaloosa this Holiday season with the addition of more than 35,000 lights, intricately positioned and choreographed to music.
The inspiration for this enchanting project began when Vicky Collette, a local resident and the president of the Golden Goose Club, was inspired after visiting a holiday light show in Florida. With a desire to bring the joy she experienced back home to Oskaloosa, she shared her vision and found a local artist who could make it happen.
Collette contacted Jeremiah Maudlin, who had been illuminating his own rural Barnes City home for six years with mesmerizing synchronized light, effects, and music display. The display had quietly gained a local reputation as a must-see holiday attraction. Collette and Maudlin discussed the possibility of creating a spectacular Dancing Lights Display in Oskaloosa's town square. Maudlin agreed to move and expand his show to Oskaloosa Main Street beginning this season.
The Golden Goose Club funded the project and presented the idea to the city council and city administrator Amal Eltahir, who all embraced the opportunity to make Oskaloosa's holiday season even more magical.
"I'm incredibly anxious to see it all in place. Jeremiah’s got a couple of really busy weeks ahead of him," says Collette about Maudlin, who is already beginning to set up the display in the town square.
This new project aims to not only bring joy to Oskaloosa residents but also to attract visitors and guests to the community. “Oskaloosa is known for its unique Painting with Lights already, and adding this captivating holiday light display will add to the festive nature, and it's anticipated to become a beloved tradition for years to come,” says Collette.
When asked to describe the show, Maudlin says, “The word that comes to mind is epic. It's an experience. You go see Holiday lights; they're pretty, they're cute - but this is an experience. It's more like a concert. It's a very intentional, choreographed sequence of events. Each individual light is lit on purpose, timed with the music to create an overall picture and effect.”
The entire holiday display is choreographed to 30 songs, with a short break in between each song. If a family wants to watch the entire show, it may be more than one hour. The full show begins on Thanksgiving. The music will be played through the sound system in the bandstand and will have a short-range broadcast on 88.7 FM within the immediate vicinity of the square in downtown Oskaloosa. You can also enjoy the show from the comfort of your car.
"I think it was a wonderful idea because it's something that will draw people to the city and inspire kids to see what's possible," says Maudlin. "I hope this becomes a community tradition and inspires people to express their own creativity during the holiday season."
The official lighting ceremony, Turn on the Lights, is scheduled for Saturday, November 18, which will include a new and improved lighting experience using the 20-foot tree, also donated by the Golden Goose Club in 2021, as a vital element of the display. The city band will provide a festive backdrop with Holiday music, and the Citizen of the Year will have the honor of turning on the lights. The Dancing Lights will resume on Thanksgiving evening, while the traditional Painting with LIghts will remain lit in downtown Oskaloosa. The Dancing Lights will begin the full show on November 23 nightly from Sunday through Thursday, 6 PM to 8 PM, and on Fridays and Saturdays, it will extend to 9 PM.
Maudlin will also be designing two more light displays in Oskaloosa this season. One is located at Mahaska Drug, 205 North E, Oskaloosa, and another is located at the home of Scott and Vicky Collette, 2238 Lynndale Road, Oskaloosa.
For more information about the Oskaloosa Dancing Lights, please visit http://dancinglights.info
For more information and updates about Oskaloosa's Painting with Lights and other holiday events in Oskaloosa, please visit Mahaska Chamber & Development Group website at https://www.mahaskachamber.org/
About the Golden Goose Club
The Golden Goose Club is a 501(c)3 ladies' organization based in Mahaska County, dedicated to making a positive impact in their community. Established in 2015, the Golden Goose Club started funding projects and is a driving force for community betterment. Involving more than 180 generous members, they share a common goal of enhancing their community's quality of life. To date, the organization has invested more than $392,300 in the community. Learn more at https://thegoldengooseclub.com/