One of the nation’s largest holiday light shows, Speedway Christmas will hold its grand opening at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, Nov. 19, with a welcome ceremony at 5:30 p.m. The show runs nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day.
In addition to hanging more than three million lights on 800 holiday LED light displays along the 3.5-mile drive-through course, speedway staff have been hard at work constructing a Bethlehem-themed village that serves as a centerpiece of the infield Christmas Village.
On Thursday through Sunday nights, Speedway Christmas visitors will be transported back in time when they walk through the gates of Bethlehem village to find actors from area churches recreating the Nativity. Once visitors make their way through the main entrance, they can talk with villagers, see live donkeys, sheep and goats, and visit the stable in an environment full of ambience fit for a king.
The Speedway Christmas grand opening is just the beginning of a busy Thanksgiving week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Visitors looking for a unique Thanksgiving Day outing can stop by zMAX Dragway from 2-5 p.m. on Nov. 22 to view the Capitol Christmas tree, which is making a stop in Concord on its way to Washington D.C.
Friday, shoppers looking for the best bargains on NASCAR gear need look no further than the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blowout. Fans can find gear from Charlotte Motor Speedway and more than a dozen teams for as little as $1. Anyone who spends more than $50 on tickets or merchandise or donates $25 to Speedway Children’s Charities will have the opportunity to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
New for 2012, visitors can take to the ice on the Coca-Cola Family Ice Rink, a 5,100-square-foot rink constructed with real ice, near the tower of zMAX Dragway. In addition to public skate times, the rink will offer group lessons, private rentals and feature theme nights for added entertainment. The Coca-Cola Family Ice Rink will be open daily from Nov. 16-Jan. 21. Admission is $12, which includes skate rentals.
Admission to Speedway Christmas is $15 per car on nights the village is closed and $20 per car on nights the village is open. Group rates for tour buses and corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
Photo: CMS/Jonathan Coleman