“Welcome to a Christmas wonderland!” exclaimed one young guest in describing The Lights of Christmas, at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. The annual holiday festival held in December, treated guests to magnificent light displays, grand Christmas music, fun children’s activities, live theater, hot fresh donuts, and much more. Friends and families gathered around the warming fires kindling relationship. Children laughed with delight at Bruce the Spruce the talking Christmas tree. Grown-ups and kids alike waved at strangers as they took the train around the event. The Lights of Christmas celebrated the faith, love, and hope of the season with beauty, pageantry, and joy.

The weather has been fairly mild and dry for the past six years – not so for 2016. Rain, wind, or showers graced us 10 out of 19 nights. However, the spirits of guests were not dampened as just over 68,000 people attended The Lights of Christmas, making 2015 the third highest attendance on record!

“We are thankful for hundreds of staff and volunteers who gave one or more nights to make The Lights of Christmas possible.” said Patrick Patterson, Warm Beach Camp General Manager. Intrepid parking attendants braved the night-time weather directing thousands of cars. Security staff walked miles each night. Greeters, ticket sellers, and retail clerks welcomed thousands each night. One of the truly distinguishing features of The Lights of Christmas is the staff. Over and over again, guests comment about the heart-felt hospitality that makes The Lights of Christmas a welcoming, encouraging, and blessed event.

Many gifts are given at Christmas time. Perhaps, some of the best are memorable times – love, laughter, and life together. Our prayer is that God’s Spirit would use The Lights of Christmas to do His work of healing, reconciling, and redeeming. The hospitality, beauty, and fun experiences lay the groundwork for the deeper message of Christmas to take root in people’s hearts.

Plans are underway for this year’s 20th year celebration for The Lights of Christmas! Registration for Overnight Getaways and Holiday Theatre opens on May 3, 2016. More information can be found at www.WarmBeachLights.com.

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The American Bus Association (ABA) announced that The Lights of Christmas, held each December, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2016 by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee. Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicated The Lights of Christmas offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travellers from around the world, according to ABA.

With the release of the American Bus Association's 2016 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 34 years of the program. What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.

ABA's 2016 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected The Lights of Christmas from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the event's broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.

The Top 100 Events list is available online at www.buses.org/Top100.

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