Bright lights showcase a holiday feel at the Nicholas Conservatory

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – The holidays meet the tropics in the Forest City.

The Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens is known for its exotic floral displays. But, during the holidays, lights bring it a festive glow.

Nearly 250,000 lights are on display for All Aglow. A team of six worked for about seven weeks to set up the 3,500 strings of lights.

“We decided instead of doing a design… we just wanted to do colors everywhere,” said the conservatory’s Horticulture Maintenance Coordinator Doug Harkness.

So, how are people reacting?

“They said it looked like a unicorn threw up.”

All the lights are LED, which uses much less electricity.

“They’re really beautiful,” said resident Rachel Espino.

Visitors can walk the beautiful grounds around the lagoon for free. For the cost of admission, there’s also an indoor display at the conservatory.

“We also have our train exhibit inside that just started,” said Harkness.

All Aglow’s festive lights make a great backdrop for holiday pictures too.

“If you have children, or even a boyfriend, husband, come take pictures,” said Eva Gonzalez. “It’s really pretty. I love it!”

“I want people to come by and see them and enjoy them,” said Harkness. “I’m here on the weekends and I walk around at night. People are just happy and smiling and the kids are running around. That’s why I do it.”

All Aglow runs through January 6th, the 12th day of Christmas. Lights turn on at 4:30pm and stay on until 7:30am.

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