DUBLIN — Things are off to a sparkling start for the annual Christmas Light Show at Lu Mil Vineyard in Dublin.
The light show kicked off last weekend, and plenty of people must have been ready to get into the Christmas spirit.
“It was great,” said Lu Mil’s Denise Bridgers. “We had a larger crowd than kickoff weekend last year.”
The good turnout may be due in part to recent ramping up efforts. Last year, the show was expanded to include a focus on the military. This year, organizers have additional new sights, sounds and experiences to the leisurely drive-thru event.
“The Christmas Village is new this year,” explained Bridgers. “This year’s theme is Christmas Thru the Decades — peer into the windows from the 1950s to the 1980s as you stroll through ‘real’ snow. Be sure and pick your favorite decade.”
The Christmas Village includes Santa, The Candy Shop, Country Buffet, Hot Chocolate Stand, and Gingerbread House with Gum Drop Tree Forest. In addition, new free photo ops, such as a vintage-style sleigh, antique truck, and a giant Big Boy have been added to the event.
Also for the first time, tickets are being sold in advance.
“It’s not required, but it definitely speeds up the ticket lines,” Bridgers advised.
Advance tickets can be purchased online at lumilvineyard.com or by visiting the Vineyard’s Facebook page.
As always, the light show is the centerpiece of any visit with hundreds of thousands of lights that include military displays, cartoon characters, action lights, and a wide variety of snowmen, presents, Santas, trees and elves.
“Everyone loves the tunnel midway through the show,” commented Bridgers.
One of the highlights for many folks is the country buffet, which will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. For $11, diners will get all-you-can-eat choices of fruits, vegetables, meats, desserts, and beverages. Large heaters outside the restaurant warm guests and are a favorite gathering spot for visitors on the chilly nights.
Santa will be on site for the kids, and parents can shop in the Vineyard’s candy shop — which, according to Bridgers, has been expanded to include some “new and unique items this year” — or gift shop while children take free photos with the jolly St. Nick.
The Festival of Lights will run Thursday, Nov. 30 through Sunday, Dec. 3, then again Thursday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Dec. 10. Beginning Thursday, Dec. 14, the show will run nightly through Dec. 23. It is open from 6 to 10 p.m.
The cost will be $6 per person or $60 per vehicle. Groups can also rent Lu Mil Vineyard’s double-decker bus for $6 per person with a minimum of 20 people. The bus must be reserved in advance by calling 910-862-1603.
By GPS, Lu Mil is located at 438 Suggs-Taylor Road in Elizabethtown.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.