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With more than 1 million lights, the drive-through "Let It Shine" holiday exhibition opened on Friday outside the Fox Valley Shopping Center on Highway 59 will not be missed.
Scott Samson, general manager of Fox Valley Shopping Center, joked that the new event in the parking lot east of the shopping center may distract pilots flying to Chicago O’Hare Airport.
"I hope they don't mistake our parking lot for the landing field," he said with a smile. "When they use the oversized light switch on this setting, there will be more than one million lights."
Samson described "Let it Shine" as an "immersive half-hour experience," in which festive music and lights are synchronized, making its debut on Friday, November 12th at 4:30 pm. It will be open every day from 4:30 to 11:30 on January 9th.
The price through the display is $35 per car, and each purchaser will give an arrival time slot when purchasing a ticket at www.shinelightshow.com/locations/aurora-il.
"Malls are hosting more and more events in the mall parking lot," Samson said. One of their biggest events is the Dino Safari exhibition held in the same area this summer.
"It is important that we focus on more and more experiences in order to increase the visits of shoppers and make this a community center," he said.
"Let It Shine" allows visitors to "stay in their cars, drive through arches and millions of light displays, and then listen to local FM radio stations relevant to the experience," he said. "This is something that is carried out across the country and has become very popular, and we are fortunate to be able to put it on our doorstep during the holidays."
Katie Peterson, Let in Shine's chief marketing officer, said that two other locations in the Chicago area-Schaumburg and Northbrook-will have similar displays.
"All our shows are unique and different," she said. Peterson said the Fox Valley display took six weeks to build.
"It is a very complicated and complicated process to get such an operation to begin and proceed," she said. "We have good weather most of the time, so it didn't make things too challenging."
Aurora resident Josefina Mendygral and her 10-year-old daughter Vivian took part in this week's ribbon cutting after reading relevant content on their Facebook page. Mendy Grall said that when the event begins, she and her family will definitely plan to have a complete experience.
"I'm going out with a car of kids on the weekend," she said. "In order to keep this shopping center alive, we must do this."
"I think it will be interesting to see this," she said.
David Sharos is a freelance journalist for The Beacon-News.