As visitors drive through Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights in Garvin Park THIS WED., DEC. 14 ONLY, 5:00-9:00 p.m., they will be greeted by members of the Evansville IceMen, Evansville’s pro hockey team.

IceMen players will hand out game schedules as they greet each vehicle paying admission to the “magical mile of holiday lights”, which is a major fund-raising event for Easter Seals.  Vehicles should enter Garvin Park using the North Main entrance, the official starting point for Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights.

I caught up with Pam Kirk from Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center and talked to her about the event.

How long has Easter Seals been partnering with Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights? This is the 18th year for Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights.

Are there any discounts available if you go to this event? Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights tickets make great gifts for teachers, day care providers, co-workers, etc., and are ideal for enclosing in greeting cards.  If you purchase 50 tickets or more from Easter Seals, you can receive a discount.  Contact Special Events Director Laura Roettger at 812-437-2627 for details & to buy tickets in quantity.

Where does the money go from Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights? Proceeds from admissions fund physical, occupational and speech therapy for tri-state children and adults with disabilities.  Our local Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center in Evansville offers a sliding fee scale for therapy services and never turns anyone away due to inability to pay for therapy.  That’s only possible because the community supports events like Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights.

What will visitors see – besides the Icemen? We like to say that Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights transforms Garvin park into a “magical mile of holiday lights.”  We also hope people will remember that when they attend Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights, they’re helping Easter Seals “give the gift of independence” to kids & adults with disabilities.

What’s the cost for Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights and how many people can I stuff into my car? Admission to Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights is based on the number of people in the vehicle.  For up to 6 people, the per-vehicle cost is just $7.  For 7-14 people, it’s $10.  For 25 people or more, it’s $25.  (And yes, we do have many vans & buses bringing over 25 people from area churches, youth groups, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc.)  Carriage rides are also available nightly, weather permitting, and are $30, which includes admission for up to 6 people in the carriage.

Have Easter Seals and the Icemen ever teamed up before? If so, how do you expect the turnout for this to go? In the past, the IceMen have provided autographed jerseys for one of our fund-raising auctions.  This is the first time members of the team will actually be involved in person at one of our events.  We are very excited and hope that lots of area hockey fans will come to meet them!

In addition to their appearance at Garvin Park on Wednesday night, the IceMen are providing everyone who attends Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights through Jan. 1 with an opportunity for discounted tickets to one of their games.  With paid admission to Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights, each vehicle receives a certificate good for $4 off tickets to see the IceMen play at the Ford Center on Jan. 14 (Pack the House Night) or March 23 (Home Finale/Fan Appreciation Night).