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Lights on the River opens Saturday in Lisbon

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LISBON - A north country tradition returns tomorrow to Lisbon Beach and Campground with the fourth annual Lights on the River event.

With 85 light exhibits sponsored by families, businesses and community organizations from around the region, this year’s Lights on the River, which runs from Dec. 14 to Dec. 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. each night, is the biggest yet, President Scott A. Wilhelm said.

Thanks to a recent expansion project at Lisbon Beach, this year’s event will have double the footprint of last year’s event, giving organizations with displays a chance to really show off their holiday spirit.

Donations of non-perishable goods or money will be accepted at the gate and Mr. Wilhelm said all the donations will stay within the county to help those in need here at home.

Last year the organization had 75 displays, saw roughly 4,000 cars drive through, and raised more than $32,000 and thousands of pounds of food for area food panties.

Mr. Wilhelm said the event has been growing on the back of its own success as each passing year makes Lights on the River more attractive to groups putting on light displays and visitors who want to see them.

“We think the bigger we make it, the more people that are going to come which in turn helps us to aid more food pantries,” he said in a news release.

This year visitors will once again have an opportunity to vote for their favorite business, nonprofit and family displays with the winner of each category receiving $50.

Each visitor will receive a ballot in the program to be returned at the gate upon leaving.

This year will also feature a scavenger hunt for kids.

Organizers will hide a doll named Susie Q. in one of the displays each night. Children 12 and under will have their name put into a drawing for a prize if they spot the doll. The drawing will be held on Dec. 22.

Mr. Wilhelm said the event has become larger than he ever expected.

This year the event will donate money to the following food pantries: Canton Church and Community, Canton Neighborhood Center, Hammond Neighborhood Center, Heuvelton Food Pantry, Lisbon Food Pantry, Norwood-Norfolk-Raymondville Outreach, Ogdensburg Neighborhood Center, Family and Resource Center, Gouverneur Neighborhood Center and Massena Neighborhood Center.

Lisbon Beach and Campground is located at 9975 Route 37, Lisbon.

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