LIMA — The first-ever Mercy Health Bright Nights Drive-thru Spectacular was a big hit on its opening weekend at the Allen County Fairgrounds.
Shelly Craig brought her son to check things out, and they were impressed.
“We really, really enjoyed it. I think it’s a great asset to our community,” Craig said. “It’s something that all ages can enjoy. I really look forward to maybe bringing some elderly family members through next weekend where they can just enjoy it and be in the warmth of the car and enjoy the music that the (Lima) Symphony Orchestra put together.”
Sherry Wilson came out with her husband and two children.
“It was such a neat thing for Lima to have, and I think everybody that came through enjoyed it. It’s just a really nice addition to the Lima area,” Wilson said.
The crowds were pretty steady for opening weekend.
“We had a great opening night. We think we saw around 750 cars the first night; it was a steady flow the whole evening. So we were just really excited that families were able to come out and enjoy the lights, especially because it was a beautiful evening,” said Chad Hughes, Allen County Fair Manager.
The display includes more than 45 LED Christmas light displays throughout the fairgrounds, including a light tunnel and illuminated trees and buildings.
The cost is $10 per carload.
“We encourage you if you come out bring $10 in cash, you’ll get through the gate quick,” Hughes said. “If you do come out please enter off 309, that is the main entrance. You’ll be escorted around to the ticket booth by the Youth Activities Building, and then you will wind throughout the fairgrounds and see all of our beautiful light displays.”
The tour of the Drive-thru Spectacular should take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.
The money raised helps support the fair, which lost money due to COVID-19 limiting this year’s fair to a Junior Fair only.
“We hope to make it an annual tradition, maybe even eventually grow it into more of a winter festival, where you can come out and there’ll be activities to do besides just seeing the lights,” Hughes said.
Your next chance to see the holiday lights comes up Friday. The event is available 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays, 5 to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 5 to 8 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 3, with the show closed the Fridays of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
For more information on dates and times, visit the Allen County Fairgrounds website at allencofair.com.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.