Indiana Grand Racing & Casino recognizes the vast amount of activities either canceled or postponed for the community this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, the company has made a $10,000 donation to Shelby Parks and Recreation to kickstart a new holiday tradition. “Festival of Lights” will soon be coming to Shelbyville’s Blue River Memorial Park in cooperation with the City of Shelbyville, who also matched the funds for the light display.
A total of 17 light fixtures will be on display on the inner circle of Blue River Memorial Park beginning with the kick-off of the annual Holiday Parade at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. The parade will extend from Walmart to Blue River Memorial Park, featuring the new “Holiday of Lights” near the end of the route. The light display will then be available nightly from 5 until 9:30 p.m. through Christmas Eve. The light display will be free to those driving through, and those wishing to make a donation may do so at the end of the display.
“We are really excited, and the Mayor is really excited too about this donation,” said Karen Martin, Parks Department Director. “Because of COVID-19, people haven’t been able to get out and our programs are just now starting up. We’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time, we just couldn’t get the buy-in to get it started. Hopefully, it will grow each year.”
The donation is part of the ongoing operational plan from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s Community Outreach program for 2020. The committee was searching for a way to support an event in the community when the “Festival of Lights” concept came into focus.
“It’s been a very tough year for a lot of folks, and we wanted to do something special for the community,” said Mike Rich, senior vice president and general manager at Indiana Grand. “We believe supporting an event such as the light display will provide the entire area with a new way to celebrate the holiday season. We are always proud to partner with the City of Shelbyville on events such as this one.”
Along with the Parks Department and the City of Shelbyville, the Shelby County Tourism and Visitor’s Bureau is also getting involved to enhance the holiday parade and “Festival of Lights” experience.
“It should be a great way to kick off our holiday season here in Shelby County,” added Martin. “We hope those driving through will consider a donation so we can expand and add to the display in the future.”
Racing is held Monday through Thursday until Thursday, Nov. 19. All-Quarter Horse racing is set for Saturday, Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 24. For more information, go to www.indianagrand.com.