Blaze of Lights Festival
Blaze of Lights Festival Bluffton Reviews
Jul 11, 2007
Blaze of Lights is Bluffton's version of a mass Christmas celebration, kicking off the winter season.
It is always held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The Presbyterian Church on main street is the central hub of the lights. The property is home to 2-3 large pine trees, and serves as the foundation for the dais that will countdown the lighting of the trees, and Main Street's christmas lighting. (And, to be honest, all residents line up their own lighting of their homes with the Blaze of Lights. It is almost considered a "no-no" to light your christmas lights BEFORE the Blaze).
Main Street is blocked off for the celebration, which usually starts in the early afternoon. Several local vendors come to sell their wares, and kiddos and adults alike are entertained by sales, discounts and and a homemade ice-cream stand. This ice cream stand is run by a local family, and the ice-cream is made from their antique steam engine. It is as much a social gathering as it is a holiday celebration. Families join up and walk down the center of Main Street, and teenagers gather without much parental supervision. People come from all over northwestern Ohio to see the Blaze of Lights festival.
Santa has been known to make an appearance, and usually has his stand situated beside the ice cream station (makes sense, right, seeing as you can't welcome present-happy kiddos without an ice-cream fix first). This night is also the first night of Bluffton's yearly covered wagon rides. This will continue until the week of (or weekend of) Christmas Eve. The horse ride costs only about a couple of bucks to be on it, and the driver will ride around the small town, letting riders have a gander at local light shows. In fact, several residents share their neighborhoods off with fantastic light shows that connect several homes together. One home, for example, usually has a radio station hooked up to their lights. The christmas lights synch up with the telling of the Christmas Story.
Children and teenagers tend not to become as excited as the adults when it comes to the festival. It's more for the social gathering for them. Bluffton's Main Street automobile speed is slowed down to a snail's pace because of all the lights that extend the entire length of the town both ways.
If you find yourself near Lima or Findlay, Ohio, get on I-75 and head up to exit number 146 (Bluffton), and take a long look at the lights and enjoy the festival.
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