Holiday Festival of Lights Coming to Brandon
Oct. 12, 2022
Source: Rankin County News
BRANDON - The Magic of Lights is coming to Brandon. This is a family-friendly drive-through holiday lights festival with twinkling lights and magical displays to celebrate the Christmas holidays.
The magical lights extravaganza will be held at the Brandon Amphitheater located at 8190 Rock Way in Brandon. It will run from Nov. 18, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023 from 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. nightly. The cost for a standard vehicle (Santa Saver discount through Nov. 2, is $15); beginning Nov. 3 through Jan. 1, the price is $19 in advance or $25 at the gate on weekdays/$30 on weekends. Limos are $50 in advance and $60 at the gate.
Who is working and paying for this 44-day holiday lights displays? Brandon Mayor Butch Lee said when Magic Lights is up and running, it will be thier people, not Brandon employees working. "It is not city employees. It's thier gig," Lee said. "I am going to be there. We are not going to risk the reputation of the City of Brandon. We want them to be so successful that is turns into an annual event. My job is to find our ways to make it work for them."
Lee said for the past two years, the city has done the Christmas lights. They relied on a couple of Facebook posts and word of mouth. However, this year the event is going to be broadcasted all over Central Mississippi.
Magical Lights is a drive-through Holiday Light Display extravaganza. Some of the featured displays inlcude: a 32-foot tall animated Mattel's Barbie, Prehistoric Christmas of life-sized dinosaurs, Big Foot Monster Trucks, Winter Wonderland, Magic of Lights including the 12 Days of Christmas, Toyland, and 200-foot long Enchanted Tunnel of Lights, all of this from the convenience of your vehicle.
Some citizens are asking what the city gets out of the Magic of Lights. "We are getting publicity for the city," he said. "There's a lot of value in that. Brandon is the center of Rankin County. People coming here and continuing our work in promoting Brandon as the place to work and play."
Lee said the cost to the city is the rental equipment for them to get this set up. They fly in their own people and they stay here. They have their own employees here for the whole run of the show. So, imagine a set-up time of two or three weeks, and then a runtime of the show from Nov. 18 to Jan. 1. And, then another week or ten days to take it down, this brings dollars into the city.
"We will help them set it up and we will help them take it down," Lee said. "But other than that, it is thier baby. I think we will rent somewhere around $18,000 worth of equipment to assist them. If something happens and thier people get sick, you know, whatever, I'm going to be there to help make it work."
The city did commit to providing 10 generators. They require 24 generators to run this thing. The city already has six generators on hand. Lee said the city is only getting a portion of the admission price, which is unique deal for Magic Lights.
"What they wanted was a partnership like they do with other locations," Lee said. "In other words, they put in let's say $100,000 and we put in $100,000 the we split the profits. I told them we're not going to do that." The deal was structured so that they would keep it all up front and after 20,000 vehicles, they're expecting 22,000 the city gets $400 for every vehicle after that.
"We are not looking to profit," Lee said. "We're looking to promote the City of Brandon and Rankin County. We want them to be successful and want to come back next year."
A few other facts, some scenes are 32-feet tall and several hundred feet long. There are 10 miles of steel and 10 miles of LED lights installed in Magic of Lights. It should be a sight to see. For more information visit www.magicoflights.com/brandon
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