LOC_2011_250The Lights of Christmas this past December was amazing. The weather was amazing. The number of people who came to the event was amazing. The lives that were touched by the event were amazing. The whole thing was… well, amazing!

More than 72,000 people came, far surpassing the previous record high of 56,000! There was one night when 8,700 people came, and we finally had to close the front entrance and turn people away. Maybe that was more blessing than we wanted. But we are thankful for each person who came.

We put out a call for volunteers to come help us put on the event. More than 720 people volunteered one or more nights during the 20-night run of The Lights. Some of them worked nearly all of the nights!

Then we learned that The Lights of Christmas had been honored by the American Bus Associate (ABA), an association of tour bus operators, naming The Lights as one of the top 100 festivals in North America for the third year in a row. And Mainstreet.com named The Lights one of the ten best light displays in the United States. Truly amazing!

Last month, The Lights of Christmas received an Excellence Award from the Snohomish County Health department in the category of Temporary Food Service Establishments. Awards for excelling in food service practices were given out in six different categories, the winners selected from among the 3,300 food service establishments in the County. We were honored!