BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — A Tri-Cities tradition, Speedway in Lights, marked its 26th year Friday night.
Families lined up for Speedway Children’s Charities’ Speedway in Lights 2 hours in advance to experience this holiday tradition.
“I’ve been a few times but yeah we want to keep that as something we do with him every year,” said Heather Gilliam with 18-month-old, Kylyn, on her lap.
The seasonal event even attracts people from Nashville.
“We just heard about it. We’re just [here] on vacation. And we just heard about the Christmas lights and wanted to come check it out. And it’s pretty cool,” said Sheila Hester.
Senior Manager of Development for Speedway Children’s Charities, Betsy Holleman, says this is important for families of workers involved, as well.
“My kids feel like they live here during Christmas. But our employees have worked long hours and weekends and nights just to get the show up. And so, they really feel like they have an investment in the show as well,” said Holleman.
It’s an event that started as a way to help local children’s charities.
“Well, I don’t think we had any idea when we started it 26 years ago…well, first of all, we didn’t know after we started if anybody would come, but we never imagined that it was still going strong after 26 years,” said executive director of Speedway Children’s Charities, Claudia Bird.
This year’s light show route is different than it has been in the past.
“They’ve come up with a brand new route for Speedway in Lights. It’s actually longer than normal,” said Holleman. “And it’s hopefully going to give people a better experience.”
Organizers have now routed the show so that both the entrance and exit are from Highway 394, or the Dragway entrance.
Speedway in Lights will continue to provide a great experience for visitors and raise needed money for area organizations.
“It’s a win-win situation. You can come with your friends and family and have fun and at the same time, you’re making a difference in children’s lives,” said Bird.
Speedway in Lights opened Friday, November 18, and will be open until January 7 from 6 -10 p.m. Ticket prices vary from the weekday to the weekend.