An annual tradition

Originally uploaded by mattdantodd.

Ten years ago, when they started doing the Speedway in Lights at the Speedway, I thought to myself, “Wow! That’s a really hick thing to do. Come on, Bertha! Let’s load up the kids and go to that thar racin’ track and look at the purty lights.” It just didn’t make sense.

I held on to that mental image until our first Christmas back in Tennessee. I think it was milestogo that informed me that it really is worth the trip up there and it really is worth the wait. The displays are amazing.

She was right.

So, we now have a Christmas tradition for as long as we’re living in upper East Tennessee. All of the proceeds go to charity, which is a great thing. And we didn’t even have to wait in line that long this time. Must be the advantage of going on a weeknight. Here are some highlights from our third trip to the Speedway in Lights at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Racin’ Santa
Originally uploaded by mattdantodd.

There’s over two miles (I think) of light displays at the Speedway. You drive all over the parking lot, and even race against some displays on the drag strip.

There’s also a prehistoric display with a volcano that spits fire and dinosaurs (it was Aiden’s favorite). And a new scene this year was from Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. It was like you were driving through some type of surreal shark tunnel.

Of course, Santa and his elves are all over the place. Apparently, he can drive a mean NASCAR race truck.

Fly Fishin’ Santa
Originally uploaded by mattdantodd.

I took this picture especially for my Dad, the expert fly fisherman.

Originally uploaded by mattdantodd.

After winding your way around the parking lot, you finally get to the Speedway itself. You drive around the track and can stop in the Infield for some hot chocolate, toasted marshmallows, souvenirs, and a visit with Santa.

Look how excited the kids are to be there! They really did have a good time. It’s just that it was late by the time we got to the Infield.

O Christmas Tree
Originally uploaded by mattdantodd.

While it’s not as spectacular as the World’s Largest Christmas Tree (sorry – I guess it’s called the “Circle of Lights” now), the scoreboard in the infield at the Speedway was all decked out like a Christmas tree.

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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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Sounds like you’re assimilating.

Hurry home. Save yourselves!! Women and children first!! 🙂

I’m just kidding! I think that we should create a tradition of driving around Indiana and making fun of people’s Christmas lights.. that’s my favorite thing to do. 🙂 Remember the reindeer…



Your pictures turned out really well. But it’s too bad that you didn’t get a chance to take a picture of a couple of hicks slapping the undersea creatures. Not that it happened or anything.