“It was a little bright spot in the year,” said Miki Martin, Glenn County Fairgrounds CEO, of the Avenue of Lights event that took place from Dec. 16 through Dec. 20.
With thousands of twinkling lights, the Avenue of Lights drive-through featured more than a mile of holiday scenes and allowed attendees to enjoy the displays from the comfort of their vehicles.
Typically, there is also a North Pole Lodge where Santa and Mrs. Claus pay a visit to local children.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lodge was not able to be open, Martin said.
She said they brought in a couple of concession stands that would typically be at the Glenn County Fair – which was canceled this year due to the pandemic.
Martin said people from all over the region went to view the displays – they even broke a record on Saturday evening with more than 800 vehicles driving through.
Some of the displays included reindeer games (which was bowling this year), a reindeer carousal, Mrs. Claus hanging laundry among others.
Martin said some sponsors – such as community businesses and organizations – set up some of the displays.
The Avenue of Lights was the first event the fairgrounds has hosted in a while – Martin said they did have some auto racing over the summer but it was closed to the public.
However, she said, the fairgrounds has some financial reserves that are helping them through the closures.
While 2021 is uncertain, she said in the beginning of the year the fairgrounds is home to many community fundraisers and those have changed to drive-through events at this point. From there, Martin said they will have to wait and see how things develop.
“The Avenue of Lights was a really bright spot for this year,” Martin said. “(It) made things feel a little normal … I’m grateful for the community support and everybody who came out for the event.”