AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights Kicks Off 15th Season Nov. 18
The transformation at Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway, from two of the most magnificent racing facilities in the country to a winter wonderland, will be complete in a little more than a month.
Friday, Nov. 18, AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights powered by TVA, the South’s largest holiday light show, begins its 15th season. With millions of luminous lights and hundreds of brilliant displays positioned all around the World’s Fastest Half-Mile and Thunder Valley, it has become a must-see event that grows in popularity each year.
Open for nearly seven weeks, Speedway In Lights, along with its companion events – the Johnson Controls Ice Rink and HVAC Chill Hill -- offers guests an evening of exceptional fun, while also allowing them to give back as proceeds benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
“We have, from day one of this light show, had unbelievable support from the wonderful people in this region,” said Claudia Byrd, director of the Bristol Chapter of SCC. “We’ve raised more than $6 million dollars since we started it back in 1997 and we’ve been able to help thousands and thousands of children. I appreciate it so much and I hope everyone realizes just how much they’ve contributed to the success of this organization and to the betterment of so many kids’ lives.”
New this year to the 4.5 mile drive-through route of lights is the Ripley’s Penguin Playhouse, which is an addition to the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies display, located underneath the frontstretch grandstands at the Speedway, along with the Panara Bread exhibit, featuring Santa making bread.
Returning after a successful initial outing is Symphony of Lights, a spectacular exhibit consisting of more than 300,000 LED lights. The exhibition, which covers the Darrell Waltrip Grandstand, features dancing lights, synchronized to music. This year’s playlist will feature six new songs during the 20 minute show.
Symphony of Lights also features a large Christmas tree, along with glittering snowflakes that dance in harmony on a large, ever-changing background. Light-covered arches are featured in the presentation, reflecting dazzling colors on to more than three acres of aluminum grandstand seating, causing a magnificent spectacle.
Holiday fun-seekers can view Symphony of Lights from the infield’s Christmas Village, which features various carnival rides, food vendors and even Santa himself.
Along the route, which includes a lap around BMS and a trip through legendary Thunder Valley, visitors enjoy numerous other presentations, including the Twelve Days of Christmas, complete with 12 animated individual scenes, and Dinosaur Village, which features six dinosaurs, including a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex and an erupting volcano.
Other favorites include the cannon shot, the dueling dragsters, the Sea of Illumination and the
Alpha Natural Resources Coal Mountain Gift Mine, which is 70 feet long and 22 feet tall. The mine features a continuous miner tossing presents through the air into a front-end loader with some help from an elf.
Speedway In Lights remains open though Jan. 7. Tickets for the show, open nightly 6-10 p.m., 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.
Both the Johnson Controls Ice Rink ($7 admission/skate rental) and HVAC Chill Hill ($7) open Thursday, Nov. 17.
For more information concerning Speedway In Lights, the Johnson Controls Ice Rink or HVAC Chill Hill, please call 423-989-6900.