Drive-thru display lights up holidays
28 Dec 2022
Quality of Life
Dalondo Moultrie The Seguin Gazette
There are still a couple days left to visit one of the area’s newest attractions before it closes out its inaugural season.
Christmas lights business Northern Lights opened Nov. 26 and has done pretty good business so far as the season heads toward its Jan. 1 end, operator/owner Donovan Dove said.
“Opening night was good; we had about 120 cars come through,” he said. “That was probably our best night in November. … Now that school is out, we’re typically at 200 to 250 cars per night.”
Northern Lights, located at 3171 Church Road in Guadalupe County, is a drive-thru Christmas light display charging $25 per car per night from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
Guests can drive through about a mile of the property and marvel at the display consisting of animated and static lights displays. A feature Dove and staff incorporated into the display is a scavenger hunt that gives guests a challenge along with loads of fun.
Ten items were placed strategically around the path and part of the fun is, while looking at the lights and listening to accompanying tunes, guests can search for things like a Storm Trooper, a character from the video game franchise Minecraft wearing a Santa hat and more.
“We challenge them to find all 10,” Dove said. “We have had several people say ‘can we drive back through again? We found six, but we want to find all 10.’”
The practice is permitted because the day rate allows a vehicle to reenter the display more than once, he said. Northern Lights also offers a $45 seasonal rate that allows visits each day the display is open, Dove said.
“That’s been a very popular item especially for a lot of people who live locally in the Seguin area,” he said. “A lot of people say it’s worth the price of admission and the season pass is a great value especially for folks who live nearby.”
Before the business could open, neighboring property owners spoke out against it opening at the Church Road location.
Some expressed concerns about traffic safety at such a facility. Others talked about how having a Christmas light show might negatively affect animals that live in the area.
Dove said he tried as best as he could to ease neighbors’ concerns and still operate his business. Since opening, very few have complained to him personally, he said.
“I’m sure there have been Facebook comments,” Dove said. “The thing is, we’ve had zero issues with traffic this entire time. I think on opening night, one neighbor — I don’t know who it was — they called the sheriff because we had four cars that showed up 20 minutes before we opened. We solved that because we opened our gates and staged them 20 minutes early for those early birds.”
Northern Lights has received much positive feedback and pretty good reviews, Dove said. One person criticized the new business in comparison to Santa’s Ranch in New Braunfels, the Northern Lights owner said.
If comparisons to a drive-thru lights display more than a decade older is the worst jab, Northern Lights is probably doing pretty well for itself, Dove said.
All in all, things have gone well for the first season of operating in the new location, and Dove and his family hope things only get better year after year.
“We’re looking forward to growing throughout the years,” Dove said. “We want to thank the public for their support in our first year of our family-owned business.”