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New drive-thru light show in Wilmington aims to lift spirits

People driving on I-95 through Wilmington may see a flash of lights near Frawley Stadium this holiday season.

In absence of holiday music performances, The Grand in Wilmington is looking to the visual arts for a way to spread cheer this winter season.

Their new Winter in Wilmington drive-thru light show on the Wilmington Riverfront offers nearly 40 different light displays and music from artists who’ve performed at the Grand.

“We’re here in a parking lot at the Wilmington Riverfront, which is a strange place to be standing," said  Mark Fields, Executive Director of the Grand in Wilmington. "But we’re here in the middle of our Winter in Wilmington holiday light show display which opens on Friday, November the 27th and runs through January the 3rd.”

This year, The Grand won’t be able to put on any holiday concerts, but found a new unique way to boost holiday spirits.

Fields says the Grand received an offer from a company in Nevada to put on a drive thru light show, but decided, why not just do it ourselves?

Fields says this is a great way to bring holiday cheer amidst the pandemic.

"It’s something that you can do safely with your family because everybody stays in their car, nobody gets out, we’ve minimized contact,' said Fields. "So it’s a way for people to have a little celebration of the season, but do it safely.”

This kind of light show is new to Northern Delaware, only rivaled by the Winter WonderFEST in Milton, now in its fifth year.

Fields says they sold at least 2,000 tickets before the show even opened, and adds if people enjoy it this year, he’d love to bring it back bigger and better next year.

He says with help from partners like the Riverfront Development Corporation and Light Action Productions, they planned the whole event in less than three months.

The light show runs on weekends only through January 3. . Fields says it’s best that people purchase timed tickets in advance, since there’s only so many cars that can go through per night.

Tickets are available on the Grand’s website.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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