0

Georgia Gift of Lights at AMS has holiday messages from NASCAR drivers

The backdrop of colorful lights glisten against the dark surroundings of the Atlanta Motor Speedway — distant complements to the holiday light displays running the length of grandstands at the Hampton raceway.

An estimated 120,000 people, and 25,000 automobiles are expected to ride through the course of lights this holiday season, as the raceway plays host to the inaugural Georgia Gift of Lights event, also known as The Gift of Lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The Gift of Lights is a light-park featured at about a half a dozen different sites around the country, and is now available nightly through New Year's Day.

"It's a very unique experience; there's nothing else like it," said Mike Miller, president of the Salisbury, N.C.-based Miller Davis Agency, Inc.

Miller said the marketing and advertising agency is partnering with Winterland, Inc., a Marion, Ind.-based light-installation and-design company to produce the spectacle.

Winterland installed the displays at the speedway in October, to be on view through the holiday season.

The experience is such that visitors can tune into the Speedway's 90.3 FM radio signal and listen to Christmas music, and holiday messages from NASCAR drivers, as they coast in their vehicles through the bright course of lights.

Miller boasted that the displays, encircling the 1.54-mile oval track, consist of some 1.2 million energy-efficient light emitting diodes (LED) lights.

He estimated that the electricity utility cost will be roughly $750 to operate the displays nightly through New Year's Day. Although he anticipates the electric bill will be closer to $500 over the 45-day showing. The lights will be on display from 6 p.m., until 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; and from 6 p.m., until 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

Miller said The Gift of Lights also will be open Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec. 25, and New Year's Day, Sunday, Jan. 1.

Admission is $15 per car, with the first 15,000 cars receiving holiday giftbags and coupons from light-park sponsors. The admission for buses is $1 per person with a minimum of $20. Buses must be under 11-feet-tall for course clearance.

Gift of Lights visitors also can get a discount on the regular admission price by donating a new toy to the Toys for Tots charity, a drive to be sponsored by FOX 5 Atlanta on Nov. 23, at the Speedway.

Guests will receive $5 off admission (one per vehicle) with the donation of a new toy for Toys for Tots.

To learn more about The Gift of Lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway, visit www.georgiagiftoflights.com, or call (888) 926-7401.

The Atlanta Motor Speedway is located at 1500 Tara Place, just off of Tara Blvd., in Hampton. For directions to, or information about the Speedway, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.