Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lamest Winter Festival ever: Virginia Beach Festival of Lights.

Originally uploaded by pterandon.

While driving to this festival in the town square of Virginia Beach, Virginia, my host explained that there would be lights. I sarcastically said, "Oh, what are they going to do: light up the rectangular outline of some buildings?" Then I immediately apologized for being such a bitter cynic, for expecting something so lame.

Then we got to the town square of Virginia Beach. There were a few large teddy bears covered in lights, a face painting booth, and a beauty pageant winner walking around asking folks to sign Christmas cards for wounded service personnel. That's about it.

There was a musical act, a trio of local teenage girls singing. The quality of their performance would have been fine for three songs, but they went on for eight. That's the problem. In planning such an event, one ought to take into consideration an economy of crowd's patience vs. entertainment talent level. We in the crowd were happy to entertain anybody for a short time, but for it to have lasted so long, with not much else to do, tested our endurance.

Then came the finale: after the mayor's speech, Santa drove up in a car. He flipped a switch and on came the lights!

The lights traced out the rectangular outline of several buildings.


Mark Goodyear said...

I think this is one of the funniest Christmas posts I've read yet!

But buried in there is that interesting side comment, "We in the crowd were happy to entertain anybody." I almost missed it. What a concept that crowds have a responsibility to serve the performers. I'm going to chew on that for awhile.

Mark Goodyear said...

Also, I linked to this on our Christmas Memories post collection at

charlie said...

You need to get your facts straight...especially if you're going to offer criticism. That was not the VB Festival of Lights. That was the Town Center Light up the Town presentation. As in light the lights in the You missed the Festival of Lights by a couple of miles. Too bad. There are over 300 animated nautical and holiday themed light displays along the 3 mile boardwalk...from 2nd St. to 33rd. This boardwalk is rated the longest recreational boardwalk in the world by the Guinness Book of World REcords. Fish appear to jump via the light displays, thousands of small colored lights as well. They start setting up in like October it's such an immense undertaking. You view it via car with your complementary holiday music CD popped in. You drive along the concrete boardwalk beside and under the countless displays. It's presented by Verizon Wireless, sponsored by McDonald's. It is part of the millions of lights across Virginia every year. It has become the largest grand illumination display along the Atlantic seaboard. $10/car, starting Nov.21 and running till ...I think Jan 1. One year it was also called "Fanta-Sea of Lights", this year 'Holiday Lights at the Beach.' Man, you missed a lot. Check it out next time. Get on that 'friend'.

vincent said...

I know someone who rode a horse and carriage doing that. You can call a horse and carriage in advance and they come out and take you on the boardwalk through all the lit displays. Very cool and romantic when it's not too cold.