Archived Outdoors

Even as a drive-thru, Winter Lights drew high attendance

Even as a drive-thru, Winter Lights drew high attendance

The first-ever drive-thru Winter Lights experience at the N.C. Arboretum brought record numbers of people to see the bright holiday display, though the event netted fewer proceeds than previous years that used the traditional walking format. 

An estimated 105,215 people experienced the 2020 show from the safety of the more than 30,000 vehicles that passed through the Arboretum’s gates between November and January. By comparison, the 2019 show drew just shy of 45,000 attendees. However, the $260,000 in net revenue the 2020 show raised is considerably lower than the $384,000 the 2019 show brought in. 

“We consider that an incredible success in a year where organizations in our position struggled across the board,” reads a statement on the arboretum’s website. “We attribute that difference in our position to you, our faithful supporters.”

In addition to attending Winter Lights, arboretum supporters contributed to the Staff Support Fund created during the early days of the pandemic and gave generously to The Path Forward fundraising campaign. 

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