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Blytheville, AR -- Marsha Mays Reporting

Lights of the Delta

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NOVEMBER 20, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:45 P.M. CST

BLYTHEVILLE, AR -- For 10 years now, Mississippi County has been the place to go in the Mid-South for Christmas lights. Their annual 'Lights of the Delta' display is the largest not only in the State of Arkansas, but in the Mid-South. Monday night they prepared for the big display with a 'Grand Gala' to honor their sponsors and give them a preview of what's in store.

"We put up over six million lights both downtown and out at the airplex and really it's the biggest it's ever been and we're looking for more crowds this year than ever before," says George Hubbard, the chairman of ‘Lights of the Delta.'

With more than 30 motion displays and a total of six million lights on a 40-acre old air force base, it's earned some national recognition. In 2004, the ‘Lights of the Delta' was named one of the top 100 lighting festivals in North America.

"We draw people from over 40 states to come in and have over 50 thousand visitors every year to come to Blytheville just to see our Christmas lights," says Hubbard.

With people coming from all over to see this spectacular light show, Hubbard says the sponsors truly understand the importance of the event.

"It's great for the Christmas spirit here in Blytheville, but it's also good for economic development because we're always trying to attract jobs and things like ‘Lights of the Delta' really show people we have a great quality of life," says Hubbard.

And even if you've made it through in years past, he says there's always something new to catch your eye. This year's festival includes 5 new displays and each year, with more sponsors, the lights just get bigger and better.

"If you're ready to get in the Christmas spirit, you really need to come to Blytheville and see the 'Lights of the Delta," says Hubbard.

The lights will open to the community for the first time this year Tuesday night at 5:30 and will stay open through December 28.

www.lightsofthedelta.com

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