Horsing Around

Lake Farmparks bets on the ponies for the holidays.

The Last Samurai
Pretty ponies on display at Lake Farmpark's Country Lights.
Pretty ponies on display at Lake Farmpark's Country Lights.

The eight breeds of horses that take part in Lake Farmpark's Country Lights go by the collective name of the Light Horse Brigade. Every other night, the beasts are trotted out for performances of the story of a little girl who contemplates asking Santa for a pony. One horse of each breed is selected to take part. "[The owners] pick out representative horses, or else we'd be here all night," explains Andy Baker, Lake Farmpark's administrator.

On off nights for the Brigade, the Volunteer Mounted Posse performs a drill presentation set to music. When the horse show's over, visitors stroll into Santa's Workshop, where a dozen elves are drilling holes and pounding nails into handmade wooden trains and airplanes. Before kids leave, they can paint and sprinkle glitter on the toys, and take them home as keepsakes.

The highlight of it all is the mammoth light displays -- including a 16-foot-tall Jack and the Beanstalk and a Humpty Dumpty (falling off a wall, naturally). Says Baker: "Our take on it is, when the egg breaks, a chick pops out." Country Lights runs from 5 to 9 p.m. through December 23 at Lake Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Road in Kirtland. Admission is $5 to $7. Reservations are required; call 440-256-2158. -- Cris Glaser

Stoked on Kent
KSU launches its run toward MAC history.

WED 12/17

If Kent State looks like a team ripe for the taking, don't let appearances fool you. The Golden Flashes got little love from preseason prognosticators this year, most of whom named at least four better teams from the Mid-American Conference. This, for a team that's won an average of 24 games over its last five seasons and that returns three starters from last year's club, which notched a third-straight MAC East title. Truly, this is not a team to bet against. On Wednesday, Cleveland State stands in the way of the Flashes' march to a MAC-record sixth straight 20-win season. Grab the face paint: Tipoff's at 7 p.m. at the MAC Center (off Summit Street on the Kent State campus). Tickets are $10 to $17; call 330-672-2244. -- Erich Burnett

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