FCPR hosts drive-thru Celebration of Lights

By Madeline Otten

Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation (FCPR) put a twist on their Celebration of Lights event due to the current COVID-19 restrictions. In the past, there was a tree lighting celebration at Pleasant Grove with small activities, but to keep the holiday cheer alive this year, local businesses, churches, groups, clubs, organizations, and any who wanted to set up a holiday themed family-friendly lights display were invited to set up at Pleasant Grove Park on Dec. 18 and 19 for all county members to enjoy from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The event was a drive thru experience and no walking pedestrians were allowed. Cars drove the loop around the park with Santa greeting vehicles as they drove by him.

“We thought this event would at least give people a chance to get out of the house and hopefully see some nice displays,” said FCPR Director Aaron Spitzer. “My department has been trying to come up with alternatives from our normal programs so that our community can still get out and enjoy themselves under difficult circumstances.”

While Spitzer wishes they could have shown off more displays for the community, he was very satisfied with the way their first Celebration of Lights event went. In total, there were five displays set up from FCPR, Fluvanna 4-H, Envy Salon, Local Eats, and the sheriff’s department. Each display spot was 20 by 20 feet with plenty of room to show off their holiday spirit.

“We are thankful for the groups that set up a display for our event,” said Spitzer.

The Fluvanna 4-H display showcased a countdown to the number of days left until 4-H camp in 2021 (June 21-25) and wanted to recreate some of their favorite activities: kayaking on the lake and sitting around the campfire in the evening.

“I think the event went better than expected,” said FCPR Recreational Programs and Special Events Coordinator Eric Armentrout. “The cars driving thru were nonstop for both nights, all the way until 9 p.m.”

Over 300 vehicles for stopped by Pleasant Grove to celebrate the light displays each night.

“Thanks so much to everyone involved,” said Kelly Phillipa on FCPR’s Facebook page. “It’s been a tough year, and this was very sweet and fun!”

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