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Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

Lights of the Delta opens Monday night

Saturday, November 17, 2012

(Photo)
This year Lights of the Delta will be opening its new Jingle Bell Park. This is where visitors can find Santa's Workshop and the LOTD souvenir shop. The area has been opened up and restructured to provide greater safety and functionality for guests.
The Lights of the Delta kicks off its 12th season Monday night, a night that, according to organizers, will be used to give back to the community that has been supporting the events for a dozen years.

For the third year running opening night will be the "Night of Giving," where guests are asked to make donations for entry that will be given to local charities, primarily the Ignite program. Donations for Ignite are accepted in the form of an unwrapped toy donation for a boy or a girl.

"What they've asked of us -- what they really need -- are toys," said LOTD president George Hubbard. "And we're happy to do this. When we started this a few years ago our thought behind it is that we wouldn't be here without the community and our sponsors. So this is just our way of trying to give back to the community."

Visitors can also get in by donating canned foods that will be given to the Blytheville Food Pantry or monetary donations, which will also go to Ignite.

Hubbard said the LOTD team works to provide people with something new each year, and this year was no exception.

"We didn't add any new displays," Hubbard said, "But we did makes some changes to the parking area."

This year they have added "Jingle Bell Park", located about halfway through the tour where the souvenir shop and Santa's Workshop are located. Hubbard said they bought a new building for the souvenir shop and moved it and the Workshop back, making more room for parking.

"This is going to free up about 15 parking spaces and make it a lot safer for any kids running around," Hubbard said. "We will also still have people out there directing traffic when it's really busy."

Another addition to the area is handicap parking and ramps on each side of Santa's Workshop, making the area completely handicapped-accessible, according to Hubbard. The "Legacy in Lights" display has been moved to "Jingle Bell Park" and there will be a stage set-up for entertainment on the weekends.

Hubbard said he is looking forward to what this year will bring. With some nights seeing more than 3,000 people tour the Lights in just four-and-a-half hours, he said the event, which marks the beginning of the holiday season for many, is a staple in this community and throughout the Delta region.

Admission is $10 per car and Tuesday nights are half-price.

Hayrides will be available at $30 per trailer Sunday-Thursday and $40 on Friday and Saturday with reservations available. Each ride holds 20-25 people.

The Lights of the Delta will open Monday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. and will be open nightly through Dec. 27.

For more information on reserving hay rides, donations or LOTD history, contact George Hubbard at 870-762-9788, visit www.lightsofthedelta.com or visit the Lights of the Delta's Facebook page.

cpinkard@couriernews.net

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