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Jacqueline Monahan

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By Jacqueline Monahan

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SPEED(way) OF LIGHT

Who doesn’t think “light” when they think of Las Vegas? The city is host to the breath-taking beams of the iconic Strip, the twinkling canopy of the Fremont street experience, the sharp, colorful silhouettes of the Ethel M Cactus Lighting, and then there’s Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, just 10 minutes from the Strip.

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

Even Santa has been known to frequent the venue that’s hosted such human luminaries as Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kyle Busch, and Tony Stewart - with one main difference. You will NOT want to speed through this 2.5 mile display.

Santa and the Mrs., Looking Marvelous

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

Now in its 18th year, the attraction officially opened on November 9th, preceded by a special VIP/Media soft opening the night before which was attended by celebrities such as vocal quartet Human Nature, the cast of X Burlesque, the cast of FRIENDS! The Musical Parody, BMX rider Ricardo Laguna, comedy-magician Adam London, hypnotist Anthony Cools and Jhoanna Trias & Mitchell Langon from Discovery Channel's Survival Series "Men Women Wild."

They say you never outgrow the Holidays.

Cast of Friends! The Musical Parody

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

 

Human Nature

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

Refreshments are available for purchase before you embark on your light journey. These include hot cocoa (divinely married to a hint of cinnamon) a very sweet hot apple cider, and bags of kettle corn (freshly popped with a slight sugar glaze that will make you want to graze).

Giant Polar Bear Photo Op (Paw is a Seat)

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

Your humble correspondent rode the windswept Santa tram (it’s open air, so dress warmly) through and under the 3 million LED display lights that make up the attraction. The Christmas theme is prevalent, but expect to see illuminated peacocks, cactus, marine life, cars, a giant menorah, casino and sponsor names, and hot air balloons (just a few examples) to round out the view.

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

You’ll travel through several tunnels of light, surrounding you on three sides - the left, the right, and above your head. These tunnels offer some of the most spectacular views, coming AND going. When not in a tunnel you are flanked by a seemingly endless array of displays on either side of the path. Only a tennis match would make your head swivel more.

Light Tunnel, Coming

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

Light Tunnel, Going

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

“Trip the light fantastic” is an old phrase meaning “to dance” but it can be resurrected here to mean the dancing of the lights and they strobe and twinkle you on your way through them.

A Living Nativity is featured on select dates in November and December. Real live actors in the roles of the nativity scene form an elegant tableau for your viewing pleasure. They will make you pray that they are wearing long underwear - desert nights are chilly! Despite this, the welcome sight is a warm one.

Living Nativity

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

A portion of each ticket sold ($20/$30 per vehicle, $20/$25 per person for the Santa Tram) goes to the Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC) which provides funding for hundreds of children's charities throughout southern Nevada, from educational support to the basic need of a coat or meal.

Glittering Lights hosts various initiatives to support local charities, churches and schools. In addition to the SCC, Goodwill of Southern Nevada, and the Boy Scouts of America play an active role in assisting with fundraising and donations.

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

Upcoming promotions involve flashlights (mega-partner Goettl Air Conditioning) on one night and pajamas (the annual PJ5k) on another. See the Glittering Lights website for details and hours of operation.

Since the admission fee is per vehicle, be sure to cram it to bursting with family and friends. Let the little ones have the window seats. The park will be open every night from November 9 to January 6. That’s 60 nights of one helluva NV energy bill.

There is no dark in this park.

 

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

 

Photo by Stephen Thorburn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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