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 Gift of Lights presented by Ambetter.
The 12th annual event will spread 39 nights of holiday cheer while fundraising for the local community from Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 24 through New Year’s Day, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023.
This year, the drive-thru light show will feature 3.5 million lights, a 150-foot RGB Tunnel of Lights, arches, toys, numerous scenes including the popular 12 Days of Christmas and much more. Crews will spend 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 with more than 25,000 lights and the opportunity to roast marshmallows and toast s’mores over open fire pits. On Sunday, Dec. 11, fans can get some exercise while enjoying the light show by foot with the Yule Light Up The Night 2.1-mile fun run or walk starting at 4:30 p.m.
“The magic of the holidays will be on full display here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from Thanksgiving through the new year,” said New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager David McGrath. “Welcoming families to ‘The Magic Mile’ to enjoy the beautiful lights and giving back to the community is what makes this time of year extra special. We’re excited that Ambetter has added their name to this event that’s become a holiday tradition.”
Helping the community is a major part of what makes Gift of Lights presented by Ambetter 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 event admissions, s’more kit purchases and fun run/walk race registrations will benefit SCCNH. As the official charity of the speedway, SCCNH has raised $388,335 from Gift of Lights since 2011. The chapter has donated $1.9 million to deserving regional charities supporting more than 882,000 children throughout New England since 2009.
Attendees who bring five or more non-perishable food items for the Loudon Food Pantry on Tuesday, Nov. 29 will receive free single-vehicle admission. Over the past decade, food and monetary donations at Gift of Lights have generated over 100,000 pounds of food totaling more than 94,000 meals for families in need during the holiday and winter months.
Kids of all ages can get a free picture with Santa Claus from 6-9 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4 when he rides into Loudon, not on his sleigh, but on the sparkly Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan.
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 Pajama Night (Nov. 28), Pet Night (Nov. 30), National Christmas Lights Day (Dec. 1) and Christmas Sweater Night (Dec. 6). Military members and first responders can enjoy Gift of Lights for free Dec. 7 by showing a military or first responder ID. Discounts are available only for drive-up admissions and not on advance online purchases.