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Meadow Brook Hall cancels new holiday light display amid outdoor gathering restrictions

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester on Thursday pulled the plug on a brand-new outdoor holiday light display after struggling to find a way to comply with the state's current limits on outdoor gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials from the National Historic Landmark, the former home of auto heiress Matilda Dodge Wilson, said they'd been working closely with regional officials to  find a way to comply with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's latest restrictions but were "unable to reach a solution."

Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester has canceled plans for a new outdoor light display that was supposed to start later this week. It'll debut in 2021 instead.

"Meadow Brook wants to provide our visitors, staff and community with the best possible experience that exceeds all expectations — which is not possible under the present circumstances," said Shannon O'Berski, Meadow Brook Hall's External Relations Director, in a press release.

In July, Meadow Brook unveiled its plans for Winter Wonder Lights, a brand-new outdoor winter holiday display to go along with its annual Holiday Walk, which draws thousands of visitors every year to tour the mansion that's completely decorated for the holidays.

Artisans, designers and fabricators from Detroit and across the country were hired to create nearly a dozen light displays for the estate's grounds for visitors to interact with and shoot photos.

But Whitmer's most recent order, which on Monday was extended until Dec. 20, pushed back the opening of the outdoor light display, Winter Wonder Lights, and also canceled plans for the holiday walk.

Meadow Brook officials said all purchased tickets for Winter Wonder Lights will be refunded and memberships bought in October, November or December of this year will have benefits extended through 2021.

Winter Wonder Lights will launch in 2021 instead, along with the Holiday Walk.

mfeighan@detroitnews.com