Lights of Joy Christmas Drive Thru, formally known as Branson’s Gift of Lights, is lighting up the night and raising funds for local charities.
“We have a mile long (1.25) drive thru with displays on both sides of the road,” said Steve Hager, general manager of Lights of Joy Christmas Drive Thru. “We’ve really emphasized the life of Christ. The first year, we had a Nativity scene, and I thought that just wasn’t enough. We wanted to emphasize the entire life of Christ.
“Without Christ’s perfect life and sacrificial death and resurrection, without them, the birth means nothing, so we now have, not just a Nativity scene, but we have a scene representing the baptism of Jesus, one representing him walking on water, the Lord’s Supper, the Crucifixion, Resurrection and his ascension into heaven.
So if a person drives through and studies those scenes, they can see an entire representation of the life of Christ in lights. In total we have hundreds of displays. Most of these are 10 feet tall, some are as tall as 40 feet,” Hager added.
“These are huge displays.”
In addition, the Lights of Joy Christmas Drive Thru also has many whimsical displays for your viewing pleasure. These displays include everything from Santas and elves to whimsical things like a dinosaur park, Santa shooting hoops into a basketball goal over the road, elves playing ice hockey, toy trains and more. There’s sure to be something for everyone.
Not only are there hundreds of light displays to light up your visual senses, but you can also take a picture with Santa Claus, Mr. and Mrs. Frosty, enjoy delicious hot cocoa and donate to Christian Action Ministries.
“We have a Santa and Mrs. Clause; Mrs. Clause serves up hot cocoa every Thursday and Friday night,” said Hager. “We don’t charge anything, if someone wants to take a selfie with Santa or wants to get a hot cocoa, but we do give the opportunity for people to give a donation and 100% of that donation goes to KLIFE.”
According to their website, KLIFE is a community-wide, interdenominational Christian ministry of discipleship and fellowship for youth and their families. Through a variety of activities (klubs, small group Bible studies, mission trips, ski trips, and monthly events) KLIFE kids grow in their faith and have lots of fun in the process. They learn that following Christ and discovering His plan for their life is the most exciting adventure of all and that they can count on friendship and support from leaders and peers who care.
Whether you’re a family of four or a group of 20, there’s room for everyone.
“It’s actually pretty affordable, it’s $20 per car load and that’s all the way from one to nine people,” said Hager. “If you have a church van or minibus that can haul more than nine people then the cost is $35 and motorcoaches can come through for $60. Ours is the only one of the three displays, as far as I know, that a motorcoach can go all the way through, at the other displays they have to get out and ride in minibuses or trams because their roads will not accommodate a motorcoach.”
“We are located just across the street from Sight and Sound theater where The Miracle of Christmas is playing. That’s at the corner of Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Expressway Ln (700 Expressway Lane Branson, MO 65616). That’s where our entrance is and our ticket booth is right down the road, so you actually get to see a good part of the display before you get to the ticket booth, so I encourage people to drive through that part slowly and study it, because it’s part of the display.”
Visit lightsofjoydrivethru.com or call 417-233-1769.