Sights of the season...

An assortment of lights decorate the bridge in this file photo of the Bluefield City Park's Annual Holiday of Lights. The festival is on target to begin on Thanksgiving Day and run through Dec. 31.

BLUEFIELD— Bluefield’s annual Holiday of Lights tradition is on course to open on Thanksgiving Day and a new Christmas tree will be lit in the city the same week.

City Manager Dane Rideout told members of the City Board Tuesday that, despite some COVID19 cases and quarantining of the public works crew that puts up the lights, the work is getting done and the Holiday of Lights will be ready.

However, visitors will see a few changes as protocol is now in place because of the pandemic.

“There will be no candy canes or dog biscuits,” he said, adding a safe container will be available for donations.

The lights will be turned on at City Park and ready for drive-throughs at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

“We also have a new Christmas tree for the downtown area,” he said, a 40-ft. tree that is like the same one used at Dollywood.

It is located between the parking lot and dog park on Princeton Avenue.

Rideout said the tree lighting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on Nov. 23.

After the ceremony, city officials will visit the Holiday of Lights for an inspection before it opens to the public on Thanksgiving Day.

Rideout said it may be one of the few holiday attractions in the area.

The drive-through display, one of the largest in the two Virginias with more than 1 million lights, winds through the park and attracts tens of thousands of visitors during the holiday season.

The array of lights covers more than 110 acres of parkland and provides a 1.5 mile drive through the park. Each year new pieces are added and older pieces improved.

There is no charge but donations are accepted.

Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline. com

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