Despite a snowy start to the 2018 Community Holiday Light Show, the 17-night event attracted an estimated 10,500 people to historic Ballou Park.
“After that first weekend, we didn’t really know what to expect,” said Danville Parks and Recreation’s Taylor Roberts. “Once the show got rolling, we had nights where we had 3-400 cars. As always, the community support for this event is amazing.”
On opening night, the Light Show got off to a record-breaking start with over 200 vehicles; however, an early December snowstorm forced staff to close the event for the next three days. Organizers were concerned opening later than usual, and an unprecedented rainy two weeks, attendance numbers would be down; however, after the final tally, 2,523 cars and 24 buses drove through the show.
“Our staff and team of volunteers worked incredibly hard to keep the show going this year,” said Parks and Recreation Department Director Bill Sgrinia. “Unfortunately, clear and dry nights were few and far between this year, but the wet weather could not dampen the spirits of the Light Show crew or the community who helped make our fifth year another one for the books.”
As a result, this year’s Light Show reinvested almost $9,000 back into the community, $5,707.49 to the organizations that volunteered to work the gates and $3,200 to the top five displays receiving best in show votes.
“This event’s ability to give back to the community that supports it so well is what sets it apart as a true community event,” said Special Recreation Division Director Lisa Ferguson. “Since we started in 2014, a grand total of $39,396 has been donated either to organizations that have volunteered to work the gates or to organizations on behalf of displays built in their honor.”
This year’s winners included:
- 1st - Trophy & Sign Center decorating for God's Pit Crew; $1,200
- 2nd - Old Dutch - West Main Street decorating for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - $900
- 3rd - Goodyear decorating for Danville United Way - $600
- 4th - Riverbend Volunteer Fire Department Station decorating for Riverbend VFD - $300
- 5th - Danville Register and Bee decorating for God's Storehouse - $200
This year’s show also drew visitors from Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado along with visitors from Danville, Pittsylvania County, Halifax, Henry County, Martinsville and right across the border in North Carolina.
“The Community Holiday Light Show continues to impact Danville in so many positive ways,” Sgrinia said. “Words cannot express our sincerest gratitude to everyone involved, from the individuals who drive through with their families and children to the organizations that give their time and abilities to help us put it on every December.”
Plans are already underway for the 2019 Light Show. Interested individuals and organizations can contact the Danville Welcome Center at 434-793-4636. There is no cost to participate.