Speedway Christmas By The Numbers: Millions of Lights, Thousands of Visitors, Countless Memories
Next week may mark the kickoff of the sixth year of Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but visitors from years past won't even recognize the show, which will see dramatic changes for 2015.
Charlotte's biggest and brightest Christmas tradition returns to the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway Nov. 21-Dec. 30 (closed Christmas Day) with millions of lights, thousands of visitors and countless memories to be made.
Here are some essential facts that make Speedway Christmas a can't-miss attraction this year:
3 million: More than 3 million LED lights will be a part of Speedway Christmas. The highly efficient LED lights use nearly 90 percent less energy and produce a brighter light than incandescent bulbs. One strand of LED lights draws about 0.04 amps. By comparison, the average vacuum cleaner draws about 12 amps. In other words, about 300 strands of LED bulbs use the same amount of power as the average vacuum cleaner.
17: New for 2015, Speedway Christmas will be highlighted by massive lights-to-music displays that create the illusion of lights dancing along to the sounds of 17 Christmas classics. Visitors can tune their car radio to 91.1FM to listen to the music as they take in the lights.
40: This year, the frontstretch grandstands will be adorned with illuminated displays representing the 12 Days of Christmas. Some of the displays will tower 40 feet in the air, creating larger-than-life visuals that would put even the Grinch in the holiday spirit.
1,000: Speedway officials expect nearly 1,000 runners to take part in the third annual Egg Nog Jog 5K through the lights on opening night, Nov. 21. The family fun run - where festive costumes are encouraged, but egg nog-drinking is not required - begins at 6 p.m., followed by a fireworks extravaganza at 7:20 p.m. The official opening of the drive-through light show will be at 7:30 p.m.
675: Volunteers are an essential part of bringing Speedway Christmas to life. In total, 675 volunteers will be on hand to help with all aspects of Speedway Christmas, from parking and greeting visitors to working as actors in the Bethlehem village.
6: Each Thursday through Saturday night will be WJZY movie nights at Speedway Christmas, featuring holiday classics on the speedway's 16,000-square-foot HDTV. In total, six holiday classics, including "Home Alone," "Elf" and "Frozen" will be played. Admission to the movie night is included in the price of the light show ticket. For a complete movie night schedule, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com
10,000: In total, more than 10,000 strings of LED lights will illuminate the speedway in various displays, tunnels and decorative features.
39: Speedway Christmas will be open to the public for a total of 39 nights, from Nov. 21 through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day. Of those nights, the Christmas village, featuring photos with Santa, a petting zoo, vendor displays, marshmallow roasting and more, will be open for 24 nights.
2,000: Photos with Santa is always a popular attraction for those looking to get a memorable keepsake from the Speedway Christmas visit. Officials expect to take more than 2,000 photos with Santa in the Christmas Village. In addition, kids young and old can have their picture made with an ice princess during the week of Christmas.
3,700: Crews got an early start preparing for Speedway Christmas, with setup beginning in mid-October. In total, crews are expected to work more than 3,700 man hours in preparation for opening night on Saturday, Nov. 21.
31: In 2014, fans from 31 different states purchased advanced tickets to drive through the lights, an indication of just how wide an audience the show has reached in its first five years.
3.5 miles: This year's newly designed Speedway Christmas light show course measures 3.5 miles in length - the longest course ever at Speedway Christmas. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to drive their vehicle around the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for nearly one mile. Back by popular demand, the drive-through show will once again include a section under the frontstretch grandstands.
Fans can get their first look at the all-new light show on opening night, Saturday, Nov. 21. The night will kick off with the third annual Egg Nog Jog 5K fun run at 6 p.m., followed by a spectacular fireworks display at 7:20 p.m. The drive-through show will open at 7:30 p.m. For registration details and more information on the Egg Nog Jog 5K, visit www.eggnogjog5K.com. For additional details about Speedway Christmas, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
Following opening night, Speedway Christmas will be open 6 to 10 p.m., Nov. 22 through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Admission is just $20 per car every Monday through Wednesday night, $25 per car on Thursday and Sunday nights and $30 per car on Friday and Saturday nights. Group rates are available.
Need details? Call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. For updates, connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or download the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.