MOUNT GILEAD — In any other year, the cabins, fields, and dining hall at Flying Horse Farms would be dark this time of year, locked up and readied for the winter. But, this isn’t any other year.
With on-site programming suspended since March, the medical specialty camp is opening its gates and offering the public a bright note to the end of the year by transforming its Mount Gilead property into a twinkling, seasonal drive-through light display.
Flying Horse Farms will “flip the switch” on “Light Up Camp,” on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26 and will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening through Sunday, Dec. 27, including Christmas Eve and Christmas.
The half-mile drive through the property will feature festively decorated camp buildings and showcase a 12-minute animated light show at the center of camp. The light display will include more than 8,000 individual bulbs and more than three miles of stringed lights.
The event will be offered at no-cost to visitors with a suggested donation opportunity.
“Light Up Camp” open times are as follows: Thanksgiving + Fridays/Saturdays: 6 – 10 p.m., last car admitted at 9:30 p.m. Sundays: 6 – 8:30 p.m., last car admitted at 8 p.m.
“In a year like 2020 has been, we wanted to offer our community of neighbors, campers, family, and friends a little extra light this holiday season to carry us all into the next year on a bright note,” said Flying Horse Farms CEO, Nichole Dunn.
“We’ve been lucky to partner with several area businesses and organizations to help make this possible.”
Local businesses, organizations, and community leaders who are sponsoring the event include Consolidated Cooperative, Rocky Bonecutter, Edward Jones, Snuggled in Hope, and Trinity United Methodist Church. Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are still available.
“We’re grateful to the many community partners who are supporting “Light Up Camp,” said Dunn. “Their support will help us build upon this year’s light display and grow it next year. We expect this will be the first of many ‘Light Up Camp’ events at Flying Horse Farms.”
“Light Up Camp” represents one more way Flying Horse Farms has made themselves available and offered innovative activities and events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization has continued to deliver on its mission of providing healing experiences for children with serious illnesses by creating a series of virtual and physically distanced experiences that have included virtual campfires, Camp-in-a-Box pick-ups, and drive-in movies.
More than 500 campers have participated in these virtual activities this year. Flying Horse Farms has also opened up its property for use as a quarantine site by local first-responders since April.