LIMA — Sunday was the final day for Mercy Health’s Bright Nights at the Allen County Fairgrounds.
The event, in its first year, started on Nov. 28 and now appears to be headed for a second year.
The drive-thru display of more than 50 LED Christmas light displays proved to be a popular attraction.
“I think it was great,” said Chad Hughes, promotions and operations manager at the Allen County Fairgrounds. “It was very well received by the community. We didn’t hear a lot of negative about it. I think people are excited to see how it’s going to keep growing and how it will become a tradition for local families in our region at the holiday season.”
More than 7,800 vehicles went through the event, at $10 per carload. Close to $70,000 was raised for the fair, which lost money due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the Ohio Department of Health.
“Everything has been so crazy with COVID. I know there has been a lot of things that have been kind of put on hold depending on how the future progresses and when we’re able to do things. But there’s some general maintenance that needs to happen at the fairgrounds, paving projects, just the general repairs that happened on some of our buildings, we weren’t able to do all of that like we had hoped,” Hughes said. “Some of the money will go to the Junior Fair board that helped us as volunteers throughout the season.”
Hughes said they were “super pleased” about the amount of money brought in from the event.
“The board of directors, the staff were very excited how the community decided to support the events and how everyone kind of showed up and we were able to spread some holiday spirit in a time when it was difficult to find things to do with your kids and with your families. This was something that people were able to do together safely,” Hughes said.
Hughes was also appreciative of the sponsorship by Mercy Health.
“Huge thanks to Mercy Health for making this dream a reality this year. They were a huge support. Ronda Lehman and her team, we wouldn’t have been able, obviously to do it without their corporate sponsorship. St. Rita’s gives and gives and gives and we appreciate everything that they do for our community,” Hughes said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.