By Charlotte Smith
Bladen County, NC – As the holiday season approaches, one of Bladen County’s cherished traditions is gearing up for a spectacular return. In partnership with Four County Electric Membership Cooperation, the 16th Annual Festival of Lights at Lu Mil Vineyard promises to be a festive extravaganza like never before. The Taylor family, along with their dedicated holiday helpers, extends a warm invitation to everyone to visit their vineyard for this extraordinary event.
This year, there’s something to delight visitors of all ages. Alongside the beloved three-mile drive-thru light show, attendees can enjoy a delectable country buffet dinner, complimentary wine tastings, nostalgic treats at an old-fashioned candy shop, and much more.
Denise Taylor Bridgers, a key organizer of the event, emphasized the importance of keeping things fresh while maintaining beloved traditions. She remarked, “Doing something different each year is important, but you also have to keep it fresh.”
The visionary behind Lu Mil Vineyard, Ron Taylor, made an exciting decision this year to expand the Festival of Lights experience by incorporating the Dublin Motor Speedway. This expansion aims to make the festival bigger and brighter each year while ensuring that the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, remains at the forefront of the celebration.
Bridgers expressed the impact of the new LED lights, stating, “The LED lights this year have really made a big difference. When you drive through the race track and see the lights on the grandstand and the spotlight on the pace car, it takes you back.”
In the spirit of giving, this year’s festival also focuses on raising funds for the Bladen County Hospital Foundation to provide free mammograms for breast cancer patients. Visitors will find a wishing well where they can make donations, and ten percent of all muscadine jelly purchases, as well as contributions made through Lu Mil’s wishing well, will contribute to the Bladen County Hospital Foundation Fund for underinsured mammograms.
For those eager to attend, tonight, Thursday, November 30th, offers a special discount for seniors aged 62 or older, who will receive a $2 discount on their tickets. Additionally, next Thursday, December 7th, anyone bringing at least five (5) cans of food will receive a generous 50% off their Festival of Lights ticket.
Bridgers highlighted the multi-generational appeal of the Festival of Lights, saying, “We have families with four generations that make the Festival of Lights a tradition each year, and that’s why we do what we do.”
The Festival of Lights opens its gates for visitors from 6 to 10 p.m. on weekends until December 23, 2023, with admission priced at $10 per person, while children aged five (5) and under enjoy free entry.