Story By: SHANNON STEPHENS / NHMS – LOUDON, NH – The family tradition of driving through 2.5 miles of dazzling Christmas light displays at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) continues this year with the Gift of Lights.
The 11th annual event will spread 39 nights of holiday cheer with fundraising for the local community from Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Jan. 2.
This year, the drive-thru light show will feature 3.5 million lights, a 150-foot RGB (red/green/blue) Tunnel of Lights, new arches, toys, numerous scenes including the popular 12 Days of Christmas and much more. Crews are in the process of spending more than 650 work hours to set up more than 520 displays and 80 different scenes. Featured attractions will also include the fan-favorite 130-foot-long infield entrance and exit tunnels to the infield with more than 25,000 lights and the opportunity to roast marshmallows and toast s’mores over open fire pits. On Dec. 12, fans can get some exercise while enjoying the show by foot with the Yule Light Up The Night 2/1-mile fun run or walk starting at 4:30 p.m.
“This is one of our favorite times of the year as we transform our facility from a high-speed, action-packed racetrack to a magical holiday wonderland,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “We can’t wait to welcome families to ‘The Magic Mile’ as they make special memories together enjoying the lights, toasting s’mores and spreading holiday spirit to the community.”
Helping the community is a major part of what makes Gift of Lights so special, as the event benefits the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCCNH) to support children in need throughout New England. A portion of proceeds from Gift of Lights admissions, s’more kit purchases and fun run/walk race registrations will benefit SCCNH. As the official charity of the speedway, SCCNH has raised $341,883 from Gift of Lights since 2011. The chapter has donated $1.8 million to deserving regional charities supporting more than 808,000 children throughout New England since in 2009.
Attendees who bring three or more non-perishable food items for the Loudon Food Pantry will receive a $2 discount on single-vehicle admission. Over the past decade, food and monetary donations at Gift of Lights have generated nearly 99,000 pounds of food totaling nearly 93,000 meals for families in need during the holiday and winter months.
Fans in the holiday spirit can also save on admission at the Main Entrance by participating in theme nights. Attendees can save $5 per car at the gate on Dress Your Pet Night (Nov. 29), Crazy PJ Night (Nov. 30), Crazy Sweater Night (Dec. 1) and Decorate Your Car Night (Dec. 8). Military members and first responders can enjoy Gift of Lights for free Dec. 9 by showing a military or first responder ID. Discounts are available only for drive-up admissions and not on advance online purchases.