Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 26, 2012

Holiday of Lights display continues to attract visitors

KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — By

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Though the holiday season is winding down, visitors are still coming out in droves to see thousands of twinkling lights brighten up Bluefield’s Lotito Park.

The annual Holiday of Lights has been bringing visitors into the area since Thanksgiving night and will remain open until New Year’s Eve. Peter Sarver with the Holiday of Lights said the amount of visitors to the event has not fizzled as the holiday season comes to an end.

“We are seeing huge numbers,” Sarver said. “We don’t have a counter to know how many people come through each night, but we are seeing tons of people each night of the week. We have cars in line out here at 5 p.m. every night to come in even though we don’t open until 6 p.m. It starts slow on Monday, but we see more and more people come every night as the week goes on.”

Sarver said many families include the Holiday of Lights as part of their Christmas and New Year’s Eve plans.

“It is really surprising to me how many people come out on Christmas Eve and on Christmas,” he said. “New Year’s Eve is the last day, and we are expecting a lot of people to come through on New Year’s Eve as well. Historically, we always have a lot of people come in on New Year’s Eve.”

A large number of those touring the Holiday of Lights are not from the local area, Sarver said.

“I think New York is the farthest away I’ve seen this  year,” he said. “We had a family from New York who got in here just at closing time the other night. He and his family were wonderful, and they were very thrilled with what they saw here. We are seeing a lot of people from out-of-town. We still see a lot of local people coming in, but it is just an unbelievable amount of people who are coming in from out-of-town.”

Sarver said the Holiday of Lights would not be possible without the volunteers that help keep it going every night during the holiday season.

“Norris and Doris Sue Kantor worked it Christmas night,” Sarver said. “They always come and work on Christmas night. We are so thankful for them and all the others who volunteer to allow other families to enjoy the holiday.”

The Holiday of Lights is open for visitors from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and then from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The last night for the Holiday of Lights is Monday, Dec. 31.