Opportunity Village is set to kick off its largest fundraising event of the year, the Magical Forest, on Friday, November 29th with special guests Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Clint Holmes, Melody Sweets, The Chippendales and more!

Click to tweet (https://ctt.ac/qenhA): Join @oppvillagelv for the Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 29th at the Magical Forest. It will be epic! Guests include @clintholmeslv @chippendales @melodysweets @mayoroflasvegas #SantaClaus #BuddytheElf and more.  #fireworks #pyrotechnics #magicalforest #opportunityvillage

LAS VEGAS — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And that is especially true at Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest, which will open its gates on Friday, November 29th with their annual Tree Lighting Celebration. The non-profit organization, which provides programs and services to adults with disabilities, is thrilled to invite you to their signature kick-off event where there is more in store for you than ever before!

On this special day Santa and Mrs. Claus make their arrival to the Magical Forest in a very unique fashion, as they trade in their old sleigh for an Airbus H130 “Ecostar” helicopter care of Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters. The world’s largest and longest-running aerial sightseeing company has flown in the jolly man straight from the North Pole since 2015. “We continue to partner with Opportunity Village because it is wonderful to give support to this incredible community that serves those with intellectual disabilities. It is also an added bonus that Santa says he loves our helicopters since they’re also red!” says Irit Langness, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters.

From there, Santa and Mrs. Claus will take the stage where they will be joined by two-time GRAMMY nominee, five-time Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year and one of the country’s finest vocalists, Clint Holmes, who is currently headlining the “Georgia On My Mind: Celebrating The Music of Ray Charles” tour and Melody Sweets, who originated the role of the Green Fairy in ABSINTHE at Caesars Palace as “The Green Fairy” and sell-out shows at the Smith Center called “The Sweets’ Spot.”

Mayor Carolyn Goodman, escorted by The Chippendales, will be responsible for flipping the switch on the OV Tree, a responsibility she has held since 2011. This year, however, it won’t be that easy. We’ve heard rumblings that someone who isn’t a fan of the holidays may try to derail her plans. The Ice King is on the loose and is ready to take on Santa in an epic battle complete with a not-to-be-missed pyrotechnic show.

Entertainment kicks off when the gates open at 5:30 p.m. and if all goes as planned and Santa and his team defeat the Ice King (spoiler alert: the good guys always win!) we will celebrate with holiday carols, some serious snowfall and a firework show fit for the Las Vegas Strip.

Other guests include Congresswoman Dina Titus, Lorena Peril of Fantasy, OV Ambassadors, Opportunity Village President and CEO Bob Brown and VP of Philanthropy Adam Joseph, our mascot OV Bear, and Buddy the Elf. Buddy will be there to not only help energize the crowd upon Santa’s arrival, but the 29th will also be the debut performance of “Elf The Musical” at the Magical Forest, complimentary for all Forest-goers.

Tickets to the Magical Forest may be purchase online at www.MagicalForest.com or at the box office. Gates open nightly at 5:30 p.m. starting November 29th and running through January 4th. We are closed on December 25th for Christmas and are hosting a separately ticketed event for New Year’s Eve on December 31st.

Pro Tips: Dress warmly, this is an outdoor event. Bring only what you need, metal detectors will be in use and limiting your personal items will save time. Lines tend to get long on busy nights, grab some hot cocoa and a funnel cake to enjoy in line while you wait.

About Opportunity Village
Mission: Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

Seven families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the best lives possible founded Opportunity Village in 1954. Now, more than six decades later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type in the United States.

Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities, Opportunity Village serves nearly 2,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that make their lives more purposeful and interesting.

Opportunity Village clients – individuals who were previously considered unemployable – work at Opportunity Village’s Employment Resource Centers and in jobs throughout the community, collectively earning wages amounting to more than $3.6 million in 2018.  They are hardworking and diligent, proudly paying taxes and happily leading more fulfilling lives.

Media Contacts
Jenna Greene, R&R Partners
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702.228.0222 / 702.318.4289

Marty Wood, Opportunity Village
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702.880.4041 / 702.234.5322