Discovery Park of America Adds Walk-thru Experience to its Popular ‘Let it Glow’ Drive-thru Light Show
Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America, the museum and heritage park in Union City, Tennessee, is adding a walk-thru experience to its popular “Let it Glow” Christmas drive-thru light show for the 2021 holiday season. “Let it Glow” is a significant annual fundraiser for the 501(c)(3) non-profit.
Opening night on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, will include a kick-off ceremony at 6:00 p.m. followed by a performance of holiday favorites by internationally acclaimed soprano Sabrina Warren and an ensemble from the Jackson Symphony.
Warren has performed throughout North America and Europe including as a guest artist with the Festival Durance Luberon in France, the Eutiner Festspiele and the Deutsche-Amerikan Musik Fest in Germany and the Differdange International Festival in Luxembourg. Warren was a District Winner and Eastern Region Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York. She is assistant professor of vocal studies at Union University.
The Friday night opening event will be free for Discovery Park members and $5 admission for non-members.
Returning in 2021 is the popular drive-thru light show that allows cars to slowly drive around the 50-acre heritage park as they experience more than a million twinkling lights synced to the beats of popular Christmas songs. Guests get a unique look at a Titan Missile, the outside of the 199-foot-tall Discovery Center, a settlement of log cabins and more, all decorated for the holidays.
Entry to the “Let it Glow” walk-thru will take place through the park’s north gate, which will be transformed to the “North Pole Gate” during the seven-week fundraiser. The Japanese Garden, European Garden and Mill Ridge will all be transformed into a glowing winter wonderland with plenty of opportunities for taking photographs throughout the decorated grounds.
Once guests arrive at Mill Ridge, they will find food and beverage for sale, a shop that includes local hand-made gifts, a stage for those who want to perform their favorite Christmas carols and a lot of holiday surprises to explore. Those who would like to reserve the stage for a free performance or receive more information about the stage should contact Polly Brasher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Watkins, director of grounds and landscaping, and Karl Johnson, director of information technology, lead the teams who design and install the show each year.
“As the drive-thru has grown, so has the challenge of keeping people in their cars because it is so tempting to grab a quick selfie,” said Watkins. “We made the decision last year that in 2021, we would incorporate a way to give our guests what they want — a way to experience the lights up close with plenty of time to take photos. We’ve been working on it the entire year, and all of us are excited to finally get to share it with our guests.”
Discovery Park is also experiencing an increase in event bookings due to the new addition. “We’ve been answering a lot of emails and phone calls since word has gotten out about the walk-thru,” said Lauren Jones, director of special events for Discovery Park. “Our event guests will enjoy a special VIP entrance to the walk-thru from their party inside Discovery Center. Those who are booking events now also appreciate having plenty of room to social distance both inside and out.” Those interested in booking their holiday event at Discovery Park should email Jones at email@example.com.
Both the “Let it Glow” drive-thru and walk-thru are open 5-9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 12-Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 and closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Admission to the drive-thru is $10 per vehicle, $25 for 15-passenger vans and $50 for school buses/charter buses. For those who enjoy taking their vehicle through multiple times during the holiday season, a discount card is available for $100 that allows for admission 11 times.
Admission to the “Let it Glow” walk-thru is $5 per guest, and ages 3 and under are admitted free. A family discount card is available that provides admission for 12 different guests or the same guests multiple times up to 12 visits for $50.