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The story behind Illuminate Light Show & Santa's Village: 'Everything is synchronized to music'

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Posted at 8:04 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-19 08:59:34-05

DOSWELL, Va. -- Illuminate Light Show & Santa's Village, Central Virginia's largest and longest-running Christmas lights show, is open through Jan. 1 at Meadow Event Park.

"We just like to see the kids' smiles. Adults, also they love this stuff, they really do,” event organizer Scottie Lane said.

He said they first came to check out the property in 2013.

“We started this nine years ago," Lane said. "We came to look at the property, talked to the manager in charge at the time, and decided this was just a good spot for us to start a show.”

Illuminate Light Show is now a family tradition.

“It's two and a half miles of route and over 3 million lights. Everything is synchronized to music,” Lane explained.

Visitors sync their car radios to hear the Christmas classics.

Santa's Village greets visitors once they complete the maze of lights. It features Santa, vendors, a petting zoo, and a mechanical reindeer.

“It's just a different illusion than like your normal mechanical bull or something — and it's festive for Santa and Christmas time,” says Kacey Atwell, Manager of The Illuminate light Show Santa’s Village.

Next to the man in the red suit, the mechanical reindeer is quite popular.

“It is a huge attraction," Atwell said. "It's one of the number ones — this and bungee trampoline that we have.”

Before you try either one, stop by Hear's the Scoop, a stand with hand crafted ice cream cones.

“We are one of the last few places that we aerate and temper all of our ice creams like they used to do 100 years ago," Allen Graham said.

There is a special meaning to the shop's name.

“My wife and I started this business; my daughter has pink hearing aids in both ears and so the name of the business Hear's the Scoop is a very personal touch to us as well,” he said.

And if you bring a toy for Mason's Toy Box, a non-profit founded in 2011 by Kelley Kassay to honor her 11-year-old son Mason who passed away from a rare childhood cancer, you will receive discounted admission on certain days.

“Bring a toy in every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until Dec. 14 and you receive $5 off of your admission," Lane said. "We try to collect toys for them just to help those folks out.”

Toys collected will benefit children living with childhood cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.  

“I love to see the kids’ reactions, hanging out the sunroof, hanging out the window smiling, laughing, singing along to the songs," Lane said. "That's a great feeling just to see that.“

Atwell advised coming earlier in the week if you can.

"You get a not quite as busy where if you're closer to that weekend time, you're going to have a little bit of a wait," Atwell said.

Illuminate Light Show, which runs nightly at 5:30 p.m. rain or shine, is open on all holidays through Sunday, Jan. 1. Santa will leave the Village on Friday, Dec. 23, but the venue will also remain open until Jan. 1.

Tickets are $30 per family vehicle*. Click here for more informationabout Illuminate Light Show & Santa's Village.