ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- The Abilene Winter Lightfest officially kicks off Friday with new attractions and photo opportunities.
The quarter-mile light show features the longest light tunnel in the state of Texas, as well as some new attractions like singing penguins and a virtual reality sleigh ride.
President of Christmas Décor by Lone Star Electric, Matt Robinson, is the heart and soul behind the project, and said that prep work began back in August.
“We start wrapping trees and getting different ideas for photo ops,” Robinson said. “It takes a while to do this.”
With nearly three million lights on display, he needs plenty of help to keep the attraction running smoothly.
That’s where his partnership with the United Way of Abilene comes in. Different non-profits from around town have volunteers work the event, and in return, get proceeds back for their non-profit.
Katie Deal, Director of Development for United Way, said that the show requires close to 75 volunteers to run and all of the goes directly back into the community.
“We give directly back to their agency. None of that stays within United Way,” Deal said. “It doesn’t go to salaries, it goes directly back to the community and we love writing those checks every year.”
United Way also gave out 18,000 tickets to Big Country schools, from Brownwood to Stamford to Coleman, so kids and their families could attend.
“It’s just a neat opportunity for kids to come out and experience Christmas without the presents,” Deal said. “It’s just the magic of Christmas out here.”
Robinson said that after months of preparations and decorating, it is all worth it to see the smiles on kids’ faces and to see new family traditions being made.
Winter Lightfest will officially open Friday, November 26th at 6:00 p.m..
It will be open from November 26-28, and December 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 20-23 and the 26th.
You can find more information on ticket prices and purchase tickets, here.