With the Christmas season in full swing, visitors are flocking to Charlotte Motor Speedway each night to get in the spirit by taking part in Speedway Christmas. One of the nation’s largest light shows is bigger than ever with a route of more than 3.5 miles, more than 3 million LED lights in 800 displays and enough holiday attractions to satisfy every member of the family.
 
For some visitors, the spectacular light show alone is enough of a reason to keep coming back. Roseboro, N.C., native Betty Hollingsworth recently made her first trip to Speedway Christmas with her family to take in the lights and came away very impressed.
 
“I have never seen anything like this before with all of these different lights,” Hollingsworth said. “I will absolutely be coming back next year.”
 
Other visitors like to take advantage of the Christmas Village, which includes a petting zoo, pony rides, marshmallow roasting and other fun activities for the whole family. Another can’t-miss attraction for many guests visiting the infield is the living Nativity scene.
 
Greg Nard, a resident of Concord, N.C., has been coming to Speedway Christmas since its inception three years ago and the Nativity scene, which is brought to life by 30 actors and live animals, is always a must-see for him. It’s like stepping back in time.
 
“I always like to take in the Christmas Village,” Nard said. “The Nativity scene and everything else here is just great. I just really enjoy the atmosphere it creates.”
 
With so many activities, it is easy to forget that Santa Claus himself is also available to take a picture with children and hear their holiday wish list. Charlotte resident Christy Malone, making her second trip to Speedway Christmas, said that meeting Santa is the high point of the entire experience for her kids.
 
“Oh, we always make sure to go inside and see Santa,” Malone said. “My kids have to
get a picture with him before we go.”
 
Operating hours for Speedway Christmas are 6 to 10 p.m., through Dec. 30, excluding
Christmas Day. Tickets are available online or at the gate nightly during event hours for drive-up traffic. Admission is just $20 per car and visitors can take $4 off their ticket if they bring a Coca-Cola product with them. Group packages are also available.
 
Another new attraction adding to the Christmas cheer this year is the Coca-Cola Family Ice Rink, a 5,100-square-foot real ice rink operated by Extreme Ice Center. Sponsored by New Life 91.9 FM, the rink is open daily through mid-January, excluding Christmas Day. Admission is $12, which includes skate rentals, and visitors can take $2 off their ticket with a Coca-Cola product. For information about group lessons or private events at the rink, call Extreme Ice Center at 704-882-1830.
 
For more information about events, camping or tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. For daily updates from The Greatest Place to See The Race, connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.