Ford Speedway In Lights Sets Record For Largest Single-Night Crowd In Event History
More than 4,500 cars marveled at the region's largest holiday light show this weekend, the third largest attendance in Ford Speedway In Lights history.
The Friday through Sunday crowd was buoyed by the largest single-night crowd in 18 years as more than half the weekend's cars passed through the gates on Saturday night.
"Ford Speedway In Lights has become a holiday tradition for families all across the Southeast," said Executive Director for Speedway Children's Charities Claudia Byrd. "We expect numbers to trend upwards as Christmas approaches, but this weekend was truly amazing.
"I can't thank everyone enough for visiting and continuing to visit Speedway In Lights. I know our guests enjoy making memories with their families, but most are aware their visit also touches the lives of children across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Speedway In Lights is one of the primary fundraisers for Speedway Children's Charities, and weekends like this one demonstrate the overwhelming compassion of our community."
Along with the approaching holiday, BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell also credits the debut of Santa Vision, Speedway In Light's latest enhancement, for the record-setting crowds.
"The number of families of who make Ford Speedway In Lights part of their holiday traditions is a testament to the extraordinary quality of the show," said Caldwell. "Each year it is our goal to ensure every guest, whether they are experiencing Speedway In Lights for their first time or for their 18th, has an unforgettable visit.
"For 2014, we've made it easier for our visitors to share their Speedway In Lights memories through increased connectivity in Christmas Village and this month we debuted a new, animated element - Santa Vision. The popularity of these additions and of Ford Speedway In Lights as a whole is gratifying, and we are delighted to share this special season with so many families from across our region."
Debuting the first week of December, Santa Vision employs some of the latest advancements in digital technology to immerse guests traveling down Bristol Dragway in a winter wonderland. The animated element features five distinct clips ranging from reindeer races to a sneak peek at Santa preparing for Christmas Eve.
More than two million twinkling bulbs and 250 dazzling displays also light the over four-mile route that allows guests to drive down the legendary Thunder Valley straight strip, circuit the World's Fastest Half-Mile and roast marshmallows in the Infield Christmas Village.
The 18th annual Ford Speedway In Lights powered by TVA opens nightly from 6-10 p.m. through Jan. 3. Entry costs are $12 for cars Sun. - Thurs., $15 for cars Fri. - Sat. Entry of activity vans is $20 and $85 for buses.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, which has raised nearly $9 million in support of children's agencies across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia since its inception in 1997.
For more information on Ford Speedway In Lights or the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, visit SpeedwayInLights.org.