Holidays to shine with light display Benefit: Residents can help raise money for women's and children's services at the Anne Arundel Medical Center by taking a ride through "Lights on the Bay."

November 24, 1996|By Jennifer Langston | Jennifer Langston,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The wildlife at Sandy Point State Park have some new neighbors that glow in the dark.

The teddy bears, jumping reindeer and giant elves will come alive during "Lights on the Bay," a holiday light show opening Tuesday. The event, now in its second year, raises money for women's and children's services at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis.

The flip of a switch transforms a maze of wires and lights in the park into holiday vignettes.

"When you drive in, the first thing you see is a 40-foot Christmas tree. It's just magical," said Mary Lou Baker, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel Medical Center.

The light show includes a nativity scene, skating penguins and elves that parachute from the sky. In one of the most spectacular displays, gingerbread men appear to somersault over cars as they drive through the park.

"It's like one of those cartoon flip books. You get pieces of the action, and that creates the illusion of movement. It's exciting. That one gets the oohs and ahs," Baker said.

Admission to the holiday display is $12 a car, with discounts on weekday nights. Proceeds benefit the Anne Arundel Medical Center's Rebecca M. Clatanoff Pavilion for mothers and newborns.

Carl Brunetto, president emeritus of the Anne Arundel Medical Center, hit upon the idea after seeing a holiday light show in Ocean City several years ago.

"I thought it would be a great fund raiser. It's just a very, very nice holiday evening," he said.

Visitors to the holiday spectacle drive a two-mile stretch in Sandy Point State Park, just off Route 50 near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The drive takes about half an hour, Baker said. A low-power broadcast station has been installed so drivers can tune into holiday music on their radios to receive holiday music.

Organizers have added a dozen new displays this year for children, including a musical band of bears and a twinkling version of the Good Ship Lollipop.

More than 16,000 cars drove through the park last year. The hospital hopes to draw at least 25,000 cars this season, since the show only broke even last year, Baker said.

But organizers expect to raise more money this year because many of the initial costs -- buying the lights and equipment -- have been paid.

Volunteers from the hospital and midshipmen from the Naval Academy pitched in to string lights in the bare trees and install 48 freestanding displays.

Organizers say families should come prepared to be dazzled.

"We're definitely the biggest light show in Anne Arundel County. We're working to be the best show in Maryland," Brunetto said.

"Lights on the Bay" will run from dusk to 11 p.m. through Jan. 5.

Pub Date: 11/24/96

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