DUBLIN — It’s one of the biggest and favorite times of year for the Taylor family when the annual Festival of Lights kicks off around Lu Mil Vineyard.
“We plan for this all year long,” said Denise Taylor-Bridgers, one of the vineyard’s owners. “We start putting up in September.”
That effort took quite a bit longer this fall because the route and number of displays has been drastically expanded.
Bridgers said the idea to lengthen the route and add more lights came from her uncle Ron Taylor.
“Ron really wanted to expand and change things, since we’d had the same thing for several years,” she said. “Now, visitors will see hundreds of thousands of lights. Some have been replaced with LED lights that are brighter and bolder.”
According to Bridgers, the route is three-quarters of a mile longer, taking folks across the dams at the ponds and through the woods.
“We’re very excited about this year’s event,” Bridgers said. “With the route basically doubled, it will be a completely new show even for those who have been before.
“I took the drive through the other day and was blown away,” she added. “It really will be a magical experience.”
The Festival of Lights will open Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. It will continue Thursdays through Sundays from Dec. 3 through Dec. 13, and will be available nightly from Dec. 17 through Dec. 23 all 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.
Those taking the drive will be able to listen to music on their vehicle’s radio.
In addition to the Festival of Lights show, there will be a country buffet available from 6 to 9 p.m. at a cost of $11 per person.
Also, children may visit with Santa Claus in the new Santa Shop, and photos with the jolly ol’ elf are free.
As always, the vineyard’s Candy Shop and Gift Shop will be open with a wide variety of items to sample and/or purchase. Also, many of the cabins will be available for rental.
The vineyard is located at located at 438 Suggs-Taylor Road in Dublin. For information on any of Lu Mil Vineyard’s events and accommodations, call 910-862-1603 or 910-866-5819 — or visit the website at www.lumilvineyard.com.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4153.