Approximately 30 Years ago two men, Walter Bell and Wayne Ross, decided they wanted a Christmas festival that would help bring people to downtown Preston for their Christmas shopping. And that started the idea of the Festival of Lights.
Festival of Lights begins Friday, November 28th with most of the activities on the 29th. Fridays events will kick off with a free screening of “Mary Poppins” in the Worm Creek Theatre at 1 p.m. and will also show on Saturday at the same time. Refreshments will be available. The Holiday Ball happens Friday night at 8 p.m. and goes to 11 p.m. Cost is $5 for an individual or $25 for a family.
Then starting on Saturday at noon will be the bed races.
“We already have seven teams entered into the bed race,” says Mary Ann Cox, the publicity chair for the Festival of Lights. Teams will be sharing two beds that will be provided. The beds will be undecorated but Cox hopes teams will show up in costume.
Santa will also be on State Street from 3-5 p.m., the Chilli Cook-off will begin at 3 p.m. and the chilli will be sold after the cook off competition. A hypnotist will be at Worm Creek Theatre at 4 p.m. and admission is $2.
Fireworks will be lit off at 6:30 p.m. and Cox said the best place to view the fireworks, “is along State Street or at least a few blocks near it.”
Shortly after the fireworks display the lighted parade begins.
“We already have 30 float entries for the parade” said Cox. “That is the most entries we’ve had in several years.” The parade will go down State Street in Preston.
The evening finishes with the Sing Hallelujah Concert at 8 p.m. by Wood Live Music at the Preston High auditorium. Cost is $5 in advance, $7 at the door. The Christmas Village will be on display until New Years Day in the City Park.
Cox encourages people to come and see the lighted park throughout the holiday season. A map of some of the best decorated homes in the Preston area will be available early next week.