Each year during the holiday season, Thanksgiving Point somewhat transforms into a festive light display known as Luminaria.
The light show is seeing some recognition as it is set to be featured on ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight: Heavyweights.”
The mile-long, mostly outdoor walk with sights, smells and sounds includes 27 unique sections with different music, colors and lights.
The displays also are choreographed to where people are with different lights and sights with the same Christmas feel.
The main entrance and exit is the 120-foot tall tree with 6,000 luminaries spread out down the hill that leads to it. This the event’s staple every year.
Austin Brown, Thanksgiving Point’s Signature Experiences director, said that the crew from ABC filmed the show during the holiday season in 2019, with producers reaching out to Thanksgiving Point in August.
Brown added that Luminaria was flattered to have the producers reach out to Thanksgiving Point with thousands of people applying to be featured on the show.
“By the end of early September we knew we were going to be on the show,” Brown said. “All in all it was about 36 hours of filming to do the show, it was over three days and what our episode will be is probably 10 minutes of our show. It was a lot of filming for 10 minutes but it was quite rewarding. It’s quite the accomplishment for Luminaria to be on a national show like this.”
The new season for the show launched on Wednesday and Brown said that he was tuned in.
An interesting aspect he noticed was that there were large crowds of people, sometimes celebrating and high-fiving each other. This is a shock now as the COVID-19 pandemic has limited social gatherings for some time, but Brown said there were many disclaimers that made sure to mention when filming took place.
As for Luminaria, the shift to fit in with COVID-19 guidelines has been pretty simple. Since starting the event in 2016, there has been timed ticketing and a one-way walkway through the displays.
Add in that most of the event is outdoors and you have an already COVID-19 safe event prior to the pandemic.
“To us, we modified the guidelines a little bit,” Brown said. “Obviously we require masks, we have the social distancing and those kinds of things. They’ve been very receptive as far as what I’ve been seeing from guests.”
Being featured on the ABC show also offers an opportunity for Luminaria to receive some publicity, something Brown is hoping will bring people to the event.
He said that most of the guests are locally based, but that there are some that come from out of town and state to see the lights and displays.
Luminaria was previously sold out through Dec. 26, but one more later time slot has been added to each day. The event used to close at 8:30 p.m., but due to popular demand there has been a 9 p.m. time slot added with tickets being released on Friday.
The episode from ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight: Heavyweights” that features Luminaria will air on Wednesday at 7 p.m.