Photo: Roanoke County

Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism officials say Illuminights will go on as scheduled tonight at Explore Park, but you will not be able to reach it by using the Blue Ridge Parkway. The National Park service will close the roadway this afternoon in advance of expecting freezing rain overnight.  So to reach Explore Park, you must use local roadways to its entrance on Rutrough Road.

NEWS RELEASE: Due to projected overnight weather, the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed today beginning at 2:30 PM, eliminating that access point to Explore Park. The Illuminights event will be going on as scheduled tonight. Guests must use the service entrance located at 3900 Rutrough Road, 24014.

Illuminights will close early at 9:00 PM tonight. Preregistered guests may arrive at any time, regardless of the entrance time printed on their ticket. Those wishing to move their ticket to another night may call (540) 387-6078 ext. 0.

Directions: From Interstate 581, take exit 6 and turn left onto Elm Avenue heading towards Vinton. At the third stop light, turn right on 13th Street (changes to Bennington Ave. along the river), follow to the round about at the intersection with Riverland Road (Route 116) circling clockwise all the way around the intersection to head eastbound. Immediately take next left turn onto Rutrough Road (Route 658). The service entrance is 3.9 miles the left at 3900 Rutrough Road.