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For the second consecutive year, the Southeast Tourism Society named Danville Parks and Recreation’s Community Holiday Light Show a Top 20 Event in the Southeast for the month of December.
“As always, we can’t say enough about the hard work our community and our staff do every year to pull off such a large event,” said Parks and Recreation Director Bill Sgrinia. “They work tirelessly to provide a memorable show, one that has grown into a holiday tradition for Danville.”
The Light Show began in 2014 and drew a decent crowd for a first-year event; support for the show has grown tremendously since then.
“Last year, we had over 2,500 vehicles visit Ballou Park over the course of 16 nights,” said event organizer Lisa Ferguson. “More importantly, however, after the show, $3,200 was donated to area non-profits and over $5,600 to organizations that volunteered to work the gate.”
While the Light Show provides seasonal entertainment for the thousands who visit each year, event organizers have seen to it that the event gives back to the community who supports it so well.
“When we began working on the show five years ago, we really wanted to make sure the impact was more than just something nice to look at during the holidays,” Ferguson said. “From day one, we have relied heavily on volunteers and members of the community.”
Each year, visitors to the show vote on their favorite displays as they ride through the park. At the end of the event, a donation is made to a local charitable organization on behalf of the top vote getters. Likewise, area organizations volunteer to work the event each night and earn a portion of the gate fees.
Since 2014, $27,489 has been donated back into the community.
“This event truly is our pleasure,” added Sgrinia. “Not only do we see so many people coming together to put on an amazing show each year, we get to see the smiling faces of all our visitors as they ride through one of our most beautiful parks.”
This year’s light show will be held from Dec. 8 – 25 and with less than a month before the switch is thrown, Ferguson said there is still time to join in on the fun.
“We are only a few displays away from having all of our available spots filled this year,” said Ferguson. “We would really love it if we could reach 100 percent this year.”
There is no fee to participate, Ferguson said. Families, organizations, church groups, civic groups, or businesses are eligible to decorate.
“If you have a message you want to get out there, we had over 11,000 people visit the park last year,” she said. “There is no better way to wish the community a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays than the light show. Not only are you adding to your friends’ and neighbors’ enjoyment of the holidays, you are also helping a local organization earn a little extra funds.”
To enter a display, call Danville Welcome Center at 434-793-4636. Decorating will begin the first week of December. Decorators do not need to attend the show each night. Power will be provided; however, decorators are asked to provide their own extension cords and light displays. Displays can be store bought or hand made. Inflatables are not allowed.
The Community Holiday Light Show will run Dec. 8 -25; the cost is $7 a vehicle ($15 for mini buses and 15-passenger vans). The show will be open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday through Saturday.
The Children’s Village will be open inside Ballou Recreation Center until 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 23 and will feature free photos with Santa, holiday crafts, and hot chocolate. The show will be closed on Christmas Eve.
For more information, visit PlayDanvilleVA.com/LightShow or call 434-793-4636.