Holiday cheer returns to Bristol with 20th anniversary of The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights
In just a few weeks, the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway will shine bigger and brighter with holiday color as The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights opens on Friday, Nov. 18 for its 20th season, the fitting finale to Bristol's biggest year in history.
What started as a simple, mile-and-a-half route to help raise money for the Bristol chapter of Speedway Children's Charities has grown into one of the largest holiday spectacles in the country with 2 million lights on a near five mile route utilizing all corners of the Speedway property including the quarter-mile strip at Bristol Dragway and the oval of The Last Great Colosseum. Many guest-favorite lights return including the dinosaur village and candelabra poinsettia and returning guests will be excited about the reintroduction of the "Sea of Illumination" Ripley's Aquarium display under the grandstands.
The holiday spectacular also includes a trip to the infield for a visit to the Appalachian country Christmas-themed Christmas Village presented by Eastman Credit Union, complete with holiday vendors, family-friendly midway rides (including a merry-go-round, pirate ship, bumper cars and more), arts and crafts, hot chocolate and marshmallows and a visit with Santa Claus.
"It's unbelievable that we are already in our 20th year of celebrating The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights," said Claudia Byrd, executive director for SCC's Bristol chapter. "There's nothing better than greeting our long-time guests who come back year-after-year to visit the display or seeing the smile on a child as they gaze at the lights or visit Santa Claus. It's an incredible, heartfelt way to help raise money for children's organizations throughout the region."
There are also a few new items this year to spice up the holiday mood. For the 20 days prior to Christmas, The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights will partake in the "20 Days of Giving" promotion. Each night, BMS will give away prizes/gifts to attendees, courtesy of local businesses. Some nights will include giveaways to every single vehicle that enters the property while other nights will consist of a drawing for a grand prize.
Christmas Village will also get two new attractions this year. The first will be a live nativity set featuring living animals that celebrates the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The village will also introduce a live Christmas tree display where guests can decorate with Christmas lights and ornaments. The Speedway will dedicate select trees as "memorial" trees where families can leave messages or create a memorial ornament for a loved one. Guests are encouraged to bring their own item to place on the tree but there will be items for sale as well in Christmas Village.
The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights will run through Saturday, Jan. 7. The event costs $12 for cars from Sunday through Thursday and $15 on Friday and Saturday nights. On select, busy nights, BMS offers the Jingle Bell Lane Presented by CenturyLink option. For $40, guests can take advantage of this "fast pass" option that makes for a shorter wait time to enter the attraction. The Speedway also offers "The BMS Express", which transforms a local school bus into the Polar Express, and "Santa's Speedway Sleigh" an open-air tram ride decked with cozy blankets and a BMS staff member as a tram host and tour guide. The two are available on select evenings.
The ever popular Ice Rink at Bristol Motor Speedway presented by HVAC will also return for its 12th season in 2016. The covered structure is the only ice skating rink within a 90 minute driving radius of the Speedway and has become a go-to favorite for both families and large community/church groups. The ice rink, which is perfect for both beginners or seasoned skating pros, draws more than 25,000 skaters per year. The area will open on Thursday, Nov. 17 and run through Sunday, Jan. 15.
The holiday festivities will officially kick off at BMS with the SUBWAY Speedway in Lights 5K presented by Fleet Feet on Friday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. All pre-registered participants will receive an event shirt and there will be a party for participants in the infield after the race. Those interested in registering can visit http://bit.ly/2eQnuoz.
For more information, visit www.speedwayinlights.org. As always, all proceeds for The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights will be used by SCC to give to numerous organizations that serve children in the 18-county area surrounding BMS.