AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights Powered By TVA Opens 13th Season Nov. 13; New "Coal Mountain Gift Mine" Display To Be Featured
Nearing the $5 million mark in monies raised for children's agencies in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA at Bristol Motor Speedway will begin adding to that total Nov.13 with yet another new, spectacular display.
Alpha Natural Resources, the country's third largest producer of coal, will introduce the "Coal Mountain Gift Mine" display for the 13th edition of Speedway In Lights. The animated apparatus, which is 70 feet long and 22 feet tall, features a continuous miner tossing presents through the air into a front-end loader with some help from an elf.
Kevin Crutchfield, Alpha Natural Resources CEO, said his company wanted to pay homage to the region's coal miners while also supporting Speedway Children's Charities.
"A new addition to the Speedway spectacle this year will represent underground and surface coal mines in some of the areas that Speedway Children's Charities reaches with their benevolence programs," he said. "It will show a continuous mining machine feeding Christmas presents rather than coal into a front-end loader. We've had a lot of fun working with BMS on this project, which supports a marvelous cause."
While the Coal Mountain Gift Mine is the newest exhibit, there are numerous other eye-catching sights among the 200 displays, including The Twelve Days of Christmas, which features 12 individual scenes, and the Sea of Illumination presented by Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Dinosaur Village is one of the more popular displays, particularly with children, as it boasts six dinosaurs, along with an erupting volcano.
With more than two million lights lighting up the night along the 4.5-mile drive-through route, which includes a lap around the World's Fastest Half-Mile and a trip through Bristol Dragway, Autotrader.com Speedway In Lights has become a holiday tradition for thousands of visitors.
"Each year Speedway In Lights has grown and so has the audience," said Claudia Byrd, director of the Bristol Chapter for Speedway Children's Charities. "The light show has become one of the largest in the country, and as our main fundraiser, that's obvious in the amount of money we've been able to raise each year.
"I just hope that everyone who comes to Speedway In Lights realizes that by being here and supporting this event, they are making a donation to Speedway Children's Charities and helping thousands of needy children in this area. Without our loyal visitors each year, none of this would be possible."
Visitors to Autotrader.com Speedway in Lights Powered by TVA can also enjoy Subway Christmas Village, located in the BMS infield. Plenty of crafts and food vendors will be on hand and children can have their pictures taken with Santa, enjoy hot chocolate, roast marshmallows and enjoy several carnival rides. New this year is a two-story merry-go-round that is 35 feet in diameter and accommodates up to 75 at one time.
Proceeds from Autotrader.com Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, a non-profit foundation dedicated to distributing funds to qualified children's charities. Funds from the foundation directly aid children in the Tri-Cities area. To date, Speedway Children's Charities has raised well in excess of $4.5 million for area agencies.
Tickets for Speedway In Lights, open nightly 6-10 p.m., Nov. 13-Jan. 2, are available at the BMS gate. Ticket prices for cars are $10 Sunday through Thursday, and $12 Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $15 each night and bus tickets are $65 each night.
For more information concerning Speedway In Lights, please call 423-989-6900.