Story By: SHANNON STEPHENS / NHMS – LOUDON, NH – Instead of HO, HO, HO, it’s been GO, GO, GO as a record number of families are enjoying the Christmas season at the 10th annual Gift of Lights presented by Eastern Propane & Oil at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Attendance is up 244% over the first two weeks of 2019 (despite being closed Saturday night due to inclement weather). The drive-thru attraction of 3.5 million lights is open nightly through Jan. 3.
In response to higher car volume, the NHMS Operations team has revised the route from the speedway’s South Entrance to create a smoother traffic flow. Two miles of additional road are now open on NHMS property to accommodate up to 1,000 additional cars as they turn off of N.H. Route 106 for entry to the show. A map of the revised route is located at NHMS.com/Documents/Gift-of-Lights-Route.pdf.
“Gift of Lights is the perfect way to spend time with family and friends over the holidays in a socially-distant, COVID-safe environment,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “We’re thrilled with the early success of the show, and since a portion of the proceeds benefits Speedway Children’s Charities, the increased popularity will benefit even more children in need throughout the New England area.”
In this pandemic-impacted year, supporting the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCCNH) is more important than ever. Other local organizations that benefit from Gift of Lights are the Loudon Food Pantry and Loudon Firefighters Association, however, COVID-19 restrictions are preventing 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. As the official charity of the speedway, SCCNH has raised $220,476 from Gift of Lights since 2011 and has distributed over $1.8 million supporting more than 808,000 children since its inception in 2009.
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 and Deer Beach Vacation. Crews spent more than 650 work hours to set up more than 520 displays and 80 different scenes this year, which also includes the popular 12 Days of Christmas and the 130-foot long infield entrance/exit tunnels with over 25,000 lights.
Tickets and Hours of Operation:
Vehicle passes are available for purchase online at NHMS.com/Events/Gift-of-Lights/ or at the gate for $25 per car. Show hours are 4:30-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, depending on the weather. Attendees are encouraged to visit Sunday through Thursday for quicker traffic flow, as Friday and Saturday typically attract the largest crowds.