Organizers hope Festival of Lights will bring warmth to children’s nights |

Organizers hope Festival of Lights will bring warmth to children’s nights

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal This is one of the many decorated homes in the Legado area that will be seen from the sleigh rides and hayrides during Sunday's Dayton Festival of Lights.

A Christmas tradition in many families is to drive around in the evening and look at the homes lit up for the holidays.

At the Dayton Valley Golf and Country Club on Sunday, families can take a hayride or sleigh ride to look at the lights of Legado and help needy children at the same time.

The sleighs will have wheels, just in case the day is less than a winter wonderland, said Debbie Darnell, business administration manager for the club.

The Dayton Festival of Lights will be a winter party at the clubhouse, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and will include rides throughout the development to look at the homes decorated for the holidays.

Those attending can celebrate the season with music, dancing and family-oriented fun and all it will cost is a pair of flame-retardant pajamas.

“We wanted to do something nice for the community and help children,” said Marcia Neese, marketing manager for Lakemont, who added that one of her colleagues came up with the idea of collecting pajamas for needy children after seeing it on “Oprah.”

All visitors for the evening will receive a raffle prize that could win them a gift from about 15 businesses around the region. If they bring pajamas, they get another ticket. Cash donations are accepted for additional raffle tickets for those wanting to improve the odds.

All donations will be given to The Children’s Cabinet for their Adopt-a-Family holiday program, Neese said.

Scott Finley, manager of the club’s landscape division, came up with the festival idea.

“I did it in Vegas before and the turnout was tremendous,” he said, adding he was not worried if the weather is chilly. “It makes you look forward to spring.”

This is the first Festival of Lights the country club has hosted and the activities in the parking lot south of the clubhouse will include Dance Dance Revolution for teens, a bounce house and craft table for little ones. There will also be hot chocolate, a firepit, marshmallow toasting and several heaters donated by United Rentals of Carson City to help keep the revelers warm.

“There’s going to be a big, warm fire there,” Finley said.

Santa Claus will be there to take photos with the children at the Cypress Point model complex between 5:30-6:30 p.m. Neese said the photos can be turned into a button the children can wear.

Other activities include caroling and glow-ball putting contests.

Those living in the development will compete for prizes for the most festive home decorations, and will also put on a Golf Cart Parade of Lights. The parade will also be judged. Legado residents can sign up by 9 a.m. Sunday and can use their golf cart or one belonging to the club.

Prizes for the lighting contests include a two-day getaway donated by the Nevada Appeal or a Garmin GPS System from Carson Jeep Nissan.

The parade winner can win a cordless tool set from Mound House True Value Hardware or a dinner for two at Wang’s Restaurant in Dayton.

“It is overwhelming how much support we are getting from businesses in our area who are donating prizes, materials and services,” Darnell said. “Vendors are calling daily to contribute and we welcome those contributions up until the event. If this keeps up, we will be able to draw for raffle prizes nearly every five minutes.”

Finley said the club would present a Holiday Heart Award to the business that donates the most prizes.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.

If You Go

WHAT: Dayton Festival of Lights

WHEN: 5-8:30 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Dayton Valley Golf and Country Club, 101 Palmer Court, Dayton

COST: Free, but flame-retardant pajamas sought as donation

CALL: 246-7888 ext. 708

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