Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the 17th Annual Bentleyville Tour of Lights will still happen, but it will be set up as a drive-thru tour instead. According to WDIO Nathan Bentley held a press conference this afternoon at Bayfront Festival Park making the official announcement. Bentley thanked Mayor Emily Larson and other city officials for coming up with a solution for the tour of lights to be able to happen despite the pandemic.

Their will be a $10.00 charge per vehicle this year, instead of free admission like in the past despite paying for parking. Bentley explained the need to charge this year due to the fact that they won't be receiving donations in the park and other expenses. He went on to say that they will also have to spend $25,000 or more to construct a temporary wooden road through the park.

Cars will be lined up in the DECC parking lot and proceed through a lighted tunnel in the park. The famous 128 foot tree will be in place along with the millions of lights that thousands of spectators come to see every year. For children ages 10 and under they will receive a Bentleyville hat and a bag of cookies from Santa Claus, and Mrs. Claus and other costumed characters will be on site as well. Bentley said they are considering putting some type of reservation system in place, but are not sure at this point because they do not want to turn anyone away.

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The Bentleyville 2020 schedule is set to be open from Saturday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Dec. 27. The event will open at 5 p.m. nightly and remain open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Hopefully people will keep their cool while waiting in their cars to do the tour since in years passed even the freeway was packed with cars trying to get into Canal Park. But on a positive note people will not be battling for parking spots, and since people are driving through it might go pretty quickly to get people in an out. Either way this is the best solution that could have happened to try and salvage a holiday tradition in the midst of a really crazy year.

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