BMS' Speedway In Lights gets new starting line this year

Sue Guinn Legg • Nov 2, 2012 at 8:58 AM

BRISTOL — More than two million holiday lights, enough to stretch from Bristol to Boone, N.C., more than 200 light displays and a new entrance to the largest holiday light show in the Southeast is set to open Nov. 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Now in its 16th year, Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA announced plans for this year’s seven-week holiday benefit for Speedway Children’s Charities Thursday at the race track.

For the first time, visitors will enter the light show at the Bristol Dragway entrance on Tenn. Highway 394, make their way up and down Thunder Valley Dragway, meander onto the world’s fastest half mile oval and exit the attraction at the main BMS entrance on Volunteer Parkway.

Lori Worley, BMS director of media and public relations, said the new route is designed to improve traffic flow and decrease congestion on the parkway.

Along the route, guests will be treated to four new light displays and all the old favorites, including the Ripley’s Aquarium.

Speedway in Lights’ companion attractions, the Johnson Controls Ice Rink and HVAC Chill Hill tube slide, also are returning and will be located at BMS’s northwest corner.

The General Shale Brick Christmas Village will be back on the speedway’s infield with carnival rides, craft and food vendors, open fires for marshmallow roasting and Santa Claus’ workshop photo station.

The attractions are largest fundraiser of the year for the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.

The display will remain open through Jan. 5 from 6-10 nightly. Tickets are $12 for cars Sunday through Thursday, and $15 on Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $20 and bus tickets are $85 each night.

For those who prefer a cozy, open air ride through the light show with a tour guide’s detailed information about the displays, Santa’s Speedway Sleigh tram will be available every Wednesday and Thursday evening, beginning Nov. 21. Each tram ride includes a 30-minute stop in Christmas Village and a complimentary memento photo and bag of marshmallows for every rider. Blankets are provided. The sleigh departs at 6 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 and available at the tram boarding station located beneath Chill Hill.

Chill Hill admission is $7 for a 50-minute session on the 300-foot long slide. Admission to the the ice rink is $5 and $2 for skate rentals. Both attractions will be open nightly Nov. 15 through Jan. 13.

For tram reservations or more information about any of the attractions, call 989-6900.

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