New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s 10th Annual Gift Of Lights To Open Thanksgiving Night
Story By: SHANNON STEPHENS / NHMS – LOUDON, NH – The family holiday tradition of driving through 2.5 miles of dazzling Christmas light displays at New Hampshire Motor Speedway continues this year with the Gift of Lights presented by Eastern Propane & Oil. The 10th annual event is open every night from Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 26 – Sunday, Jan. 3.
This year, the 2.5-mile drive-thru light show is even brighter with 3.5 million lights, a new 150-foot RGB Tunnel of Lights and new scenes including the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, Mother Goose, Jack Be Nimble, Deer Beach Vacation and a package wrapping machine. Over 650 hours go in to setting up more than 520 displays and 80 different scenes each year, which also includes the popular 12 Days of Christmas scene and the fan-favorite 130-foot long infield entrance and exit Tunnels of Lights made up of over 25,000 lights.
“Pack the kids up, bring some hot cocoa, turn up the Christmas music and escape to the winter wonderland that’s been created right here in Loudon, New Hampshire,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “This event has always been a special way for families to spend time together, but this year, it’s the perfect way to keep your family safe without sacrificing an annual holiday tradition, and it helps those in need as well.”
Helping the community is a major part of what makes Gift of Lights so special. A portion of all admissions proceeds benefit the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCCNH), which raises money for children in need throughout New England. As the official charity of the speedway, SCCNH has raised $220,476 from the Gift of Lights since 2011 and has distributed over $1.8 million supporting more than 808,000 children throughout New England since its inception in 2009.
Other local organizations that benefit from Gift of Lights are the Loudon Food Pantry and Loudon Firefighters Association, however, COVID-19 restrictions will prevent in-person donations this year. Monetary donations can be made to either organization following the instructions in the Help the Community section of the Gift of Lights page on the NHMS website.
Santa Claus may quarantine at the North Pole this year, preventing him from being on-site at Gift of Lights, but theme nights allow visitors to get in to the holiday spirit. Attendees can save $10 per car at the gate with Christmas car decorations (Nov. 30), wearing cozy pajamas (Dec. 1), bringing the family pet (Dec. 7) and styling in crazy Christmas sweaters (Dec. 8).