- Holiday Benefit Concert for the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry
- 7 Dec 12
- Boyd Family Farm Bright Lights Events
- 8 Dec 12
- 2nd Annual Bright Lights Craft show at Memorial Hall
- 8 Dec 12
- Whitingham Library Bright Lights Events
- 9 Dec 12
Lighting up the valley with Americana
Friday November 16, 2012
DOVER — The Bright Lights celebration creates an aura on the valley like no other.
“At its core, it’s just fun and warm and fuzzy and Americana,” said Linda Anelli, a Bright Lights organizer. “It’s everything good that people seem to yearn for today. And it’s easy to do and participate in.”
From Dec. 1 to Mar. 2, businesses and homes from Readsboro to Wardsboro will put up festive lights. Towns will hold special events in that time frame.
This year’s theme will be “starry nights,” but it isn’t confined to that theme. Last year, there was no theme.
To register, businesses and homes were asked to submit their address through www.brightlightsvermont.com or give their information to town clerks in any of the valley’s town offices. Schools and students were also encouraged to participate.
All entries will be included on a map created by Phil Gilpin Jr., owner of Green Mountain Marketing. The map will act as a guide to the decorated spots of the region.
People who are interested can obtain a map and drive around to see Bright Lights in action. Second-home owners and guests of the area are also invited to take a look at the displays.
Bright Lights originated in Dover about four or five years ago, according to Anelli. It began as part of an economic development plan, when the 1 percent tax was implemented.
After Irene, towns came together to be part of a regional event that celebrated the Deerfield Valley.
“It was taking something that was on a much smaller scale and expanding it to test the water and see if our sister towns had the inclination to participate. People jumped onboard right off the bat, said Anelli.”
In the past, the events that went along with Bright Lights were held on one weekend. Organizers thought there was too much going on for it to be limited to just one weekend, so this year, events will be held throughout the three month period.
Events include the 100th anniversary of the Dover Library in the first weekend of December, movie nights in Whitingham, retail sales, hotel packages and dinner specials at local restaurants.
There will be a craft fair on Dec. 8 at the Memorial Hall in Wilmington.
A snowman challenge will be another event offered by Whitingham that asks participants to send in pictures of their best snowman created this year. Submissions will be posted at the Whitingham Library.
This year, the idea is to highlight events that may be new or haven’t been advertised as much in the past and promote economic development in the valley.
Anelli said participants don’t have to keep their lights up for the entire three months if they don’t want to.
“We keep it up for that long because it’s festive and inviting. There’s no mandate for how long you have to keep it up for,” she said.
WW Building Supply, of Wilmington, will be selling LED lights at a reduced rate to encourage more participation in the community event.
Organizers suggest LED or solar lights because they are better for the environment. Anelli said they want the event to eventually grow to be as green of an event as it is a light event.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bright Lights deadline nears
by Mike Eldred
DOVER- The valleywide Bright Lights celebration is back again this year, and organizers are urging participants to get their registration forms in by the deadline of Thursday, November 15.
There’s no fee for individuals or businesses to register their displays with the Bright Lights committee, but the registration forms are necessary to create a map of all the displays around the valley. Organizer Linda Anelli says some of the displays are works of art. “Some folks do the most extraordinary lights,” Anelli says. “That’s why the driving map is so important – and it’s fun for families to take the kids and drive around to see all the different lights.” This year’s map will be created by Phil Gilpin Jr., owner of Green Mountain Marketing.
Originally, Bright Lights was a Dover event, and included a competition and prizes for the best display. Last year the competition aspect and prizes were eliminated, and the event was extended throughout the valley, from Wardsboro to Readsboro. Anelli says the inaugural year was tremendously successful. “All of the towns in the valley totally embraced it,” she says. “They became really enthusiastic about it, and it’s showing in the level of participation this year.”
Anelli said Jacksonville had one of the top displays last year. “This year, Whitingham is putting together some townwide events.”
This year’s theme is “starry nights,” and participants are encouraged to incorporate stars into their displays. But Anelli says all displays are welcome. “The idea is to light up the valley and make it look friendly and inviting,” she says.
Last year, Anelli says, Bright Lights included a weekend of events. This year, Bright Lights runs from December 1 to March 2, and includes a series of events. “But that doesn’t mean you have to leave your lights on until March 2,” Anelli says. This year’s events include a craft fair, holiday bazaar, and children’s book and bake sale, as well as visits from Santa in just about every town in the valley. Anelli says businesses are encouraged to create their own Bright Lights events. “Last year we had Bright Lights dinners, lodging packages, and retail specials.”
Anelli says locals and visitors should check the Bright Lights web page, www.brightlightsvermont.com, on a regular basis for new specials. Information is also available on the group’s Facebook page, Bright Lights Vermont. As they did last year, WW Building Supply on Route 100 in Wilmington will sell LED lights at a special price.