Beginning in 1981, members of the East Hills Optimists Club approached the Parks and Recreation Director with an idea to decorate Krug Park for the holidays. These individuals envisioned a lit entrance and drive around Krug Park with a house for Santa and other lit decorations. These members volunteered to find people to set up the displays and man a donation booth to collect money to be used to enhance the decorations at the park. A contest was held to name the new park in the local elementary schools with first grader, Steven Haywood, submitting the winning name, "Holiday Park".
South Pole was founded some years later when the Southside Progressive organization approached the Parks Department about decorating Hyde Park for the holidays.
Today, parks maintenance division employees work diligently from mid October until the week of Thanksgiving decorating both parks. Lighting ceremonies are held the first Friday after Thanksgiving to officially open the parks to visitors. These winter wonderlands remain open through January 2, with visiting hours from 6-10pm, each night, weather permitting.