The Bedford County Chamber of Commerce’s 3rd annual Holiday Nights of Lights opens Friday at the Bedford County Fairgrounds.

A total of 104 participants — the most ever — were registered for the community-based drive-through light display as of Tuesday.

-The display features businesses, organizations, churches, school groups and families this year; groups have spent the last month or so designing and building light installations as part of the mile-long route through the historic property.

Kellie Goodman-Shaffer, chamber president and CEO, said she was especially pleased that “at least a dozen” church organizations were taking part.

The event schedule includes weekend and select dates through Dec. 26: November 26-28, and Dec. 3-5, 10-12, 17-20, 22-23 and 26, weather permitting, 6 to p.m. each evening. Santa will be on hand for December Friday and Saturday evenings, 6 to 8 p.m. inside the Coffee Pot at the event exit.

“We are so thrilled with the number of participants in this year’s light display,” she said. “Our business community is so special in the way we come together on projects like this – it truly is a showcase of our region as well as a wonderful way to celebrate the season.”

Guests should enter through Pit Gate 5 off of Fair Lane Drive. (The main gate is the exit of the light route.) Admission is a donation of $10 per car (cash only at the gate or you may purchase a digital ticket online through the Chamber website.)

Proceeds from the Holiday Nights of Lights benefit the Bedford County Chamber (Education) Foundation, which provides learning opportunities for students and adults of the Bedford County region. The foundation focuses on workforce development and career exploration, literacy initiatives and leadership programs (like Leadership Bedford County, Youth Leadership Bedford County and the YLBC Summit.) Programs of the foundation are available to more than 5,000 students each year (Pre-K through 12th grades.)

Sponsors include presenting partners Bedford and Hyndman Family Health Centers, premier sponsors, ACM Bedford County Campus, Bedford Grange Mutual Insurance Co. and Farmer’s Insurance Agent Kelsey Koontz and the Bedford County Fair; and supporting sponsors: Acquire Settlement Services, Altoona First Savings Bank, Bedford Fall Foliage Festival, Colonial Courtyard at Bedford, DBHS Bedford-Somerset Developmental & Behavioral Health Services Early Intervention, First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union, Hometown Bank, Homewood at Spring House Estates & Victoria House at Homewood, Interstate Emergency Services, Keller Engineers, M&T Bank, Select Specialty Hospital,

Somerset Trust Company, UPMC Bedford, UPMC Center for Rehab Services, Knisely & Sons, Mortimer Electric, Shaffer’s Bottled Gas, Shawnee Structures, the Bedford Gazette, Fox 8 & ABC 23, and Cessna Broadcasting & WRAX, 106.5 FM, which will play holiday music and sponsor recognition each night for guests to enjoy while they drive through the light display.

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