GREENWICH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In Albany, it may be “lights out” for a longstanding holiday light show. The Capital Holiday Lights event no longer has its home at Washington Park – but another event northeast of the city is looking to pick up the slack.
The Holiday Lighted Nights flicker on at the Washington County Fairgrounds starting on Nov. 25, for its second year of drive-thru holiday cheer for Washington County. From then until Dec. 30, visitors will be able to drive through close to two miles of large-scale holiday light displays, from Santa Clauses to North Pole scenes. This year, joining the field of holiday dreams will be lighted tractors that locals may have seen first at the Greenwich Lighted Tractor Parade.
“The response last year was amazing,” said Washington County Fairgrounds co-manager Rebecca Breese. “We thought people were used to coming here for the fair, and maybe not more, but we saw a lot of people.”
The decorations are never without a human touch. Halfway through the bright ride, visitors will be able to stop for hot chocolate, cider donuts, and a new bazaar featuring local crafts.
This year, visitors will be asked to pitch in for a good cause. The second annual Holiday Lighted Nights is collecting cans of soup for Comfort Food Community, a Greenwich-based nonprofit that supports communities across Washington, Warren and Saratoga counties. The organization runs food pantries, food education programs and more.
As Breese indicates, the fairgrounds are known best for the titular Washington County Fair. That one August event is just one of many, though. In October, the fairgrounds have hosted Halloween movie nights, a food truck event and a horse tack swap meet – just to name a few.
At the end of October – right on Halloween, in fact – festival staff and volunteers will begin setting up the light displays. They won’t be a moment too soon.
“They’ve already been working on repairs, changing light bulbs,” Breese said. “It’s really a year-round process, but it takes about a month to get everything set up.”
In its first year, the holiday lights drew visitors from around Washington County, from northern communities like Whitehall to southern neighbors like Salem. Visitors came from Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs, and even from parts of Vermont and Massachusetts.
As for the spirit of giving, Breese says there isn’t a specific goal in mind for how many non-perishable donations to raise for Comfort Food Community. The more the merrier.
“I would love to have thousands of cans of soup,” she said, “but I think that at a time of giving, any amount is a good amount.”
The Washington County Fairgrounds are located at 392 Old Schuylerville Road in Greenwich, just past Schuylerville. The Holiday Lighted Nights get started on Nov. 25.