Volunteers rig straps to a crane to lift the frame that will be lit for the Land of Lights and Legends Christmas display at Regional Park. The array of thematic lights are a draw to the area and will have 10 new display pieces according to Pine Bluff Convention and Visitor Bureau Director, Greg Gustek. ” The Land of Lights and Legends will open on Nov. 20. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Volunteers man poles and help to stabilize the large frame that was lifted by a crane that is covered in lights that will be lit for the Land of Lights and Legends Christmas display at Regional Park. The array of thematic lights are a draw to the area and will have 10 new display pieces according to Pine Bluff Convention and Visitor Bureau Director, Greg Gustek. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Pine Bluff’s “Enchanted Land of Lights & Legends” — the largest drive-through display of holiday lights in Arkansas — will be celebrating its 16th year when it opens Nov. 20 for the Christmas season.
Greg Gustek, executive director of the Pine Bluff Festival Association, said the opening will be broadcast live on KATV, Channel 7, the ABC affiliate, and stay bright all the way until New Year’s Eve.
The public is invited to attend the opening night festivities and walk behind the Pine Bluff High School Marching Band and be the first to see this year’s 1.2 mile long light show, Gustek said.
Open nightly from 6-9 p.m. with free admission, donations are collected by community volunteers to help make next year’s display even bigger, he added.
“We will be adding another 10 new displays this year making us now have more than 260 display in over 160 locations,” Gustek said.
Each year a unique collectible tree ornament will be given to individuals — with a $10 donation — who drive through display while supplies last.
“The Pine Bluff Festival Association takes pride in making Pine Bluff one of the brightest places on the planet during the holiday season,” Gustek said.
“Without the volunteers and the board of the nonprofit festival association, this wouldn’t happen” Gustek said. “We have board members who come out to help long after they have retired from the board.”
He said donations collected by volunteers at the end of the drive-through the display don’t cover the cost of the project. The association depends on sponsorships of the displays to pay the balance.
Earlier surveys indicated visitors from more than 200 Arkansas cities and towns and 18 states have covered the trail, with charter bus tours routinely putting Pine Bluff on their fall schedule and drive through the displays.
For more info on the festival or to sponsor a display, call Gustek at 536-7600 or visit the website pineblufffestival.org.