If you’ve driven by One Loudoun after dark lately, no doubt you’ve noticed a colorful light display just south of Rt. 7.
The exhibit, called LightUP Fest, is a bright, 20-acre display that combines traditional Chinese lanterns with modern lighting technology. One Loudoun officially kicked off the eight-week exhibit with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a count down to flip the lights on Thursday night.
LightUP Fest is interactive, encouraging people young and old to try their hand at a massive Lite Brite, navigate a maze, and even spin on a stationary bike to light up portions of the exhibit. Festivalgoers can also partake in live music, dancing and acrobat shows, good eats from several food trucks, and interactive crafts.
Organizers said it took a month to unload the 20 shipping containers and put the 77 installations in place. The installations make up four major themes: Tour of Fantasy, Freedom America, Mysterious East and Magical World.
“It’s the biggest thing like it on the East Coast,” said Tommy McFly of NBC4, who reported the ribbon-cutting ceremony live. “Make sure you bundle up and bring the selfie stick. It’s an absolutely perfect opportunity to get photos for Instagram.”
The exhibit is open 5:30-10:30 p.m. through Jan. 2, including on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for children ages 3-12. Admission is free for children 3 and younger, as well as military personnel, police officers and firefighters with proper identification. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Arc of Loudoun, a nonprofit serving people with disabilities. One Loudoun is just off Rt. 7 along Loudoun County Parkway in Ashburn.