Christmas at Crystal lights up Fairbury campground in December
FAIRBURY, NE — What is starting to become a Christmas tradition is back up and running in Fairbury.
Christmas at Crystal hopes to bring the holiday spirit to people around southeast Nebraska with the help of local community groups and businesses who set up their own displays around Crystal Springs, a local campground and fishing area.
Organizer Brian Schmidt says he got the idea for the drive-thru light display from a similar set up in Kansas.
"Rocky Pond in Belleville, Kansas is a great little place," Schmidt said. "They have a really nice park down there. We went down there three years in a row, just taking the family. One night, we stopped in the Dairy Queen and we saw three other Fairbury families in the Dairy Queen at the time so I thought people obviously want to see something like this."
Now with Fairbury’s display it's the second year, it’s starting to catch on. Multiple cars could be seen going through on Friday night when the display opened and throughout the weekend.
There’s no charge to drive through, but organizers do ask for a free will donation so they can continue to grow the event in the future.
While driving around the park, people can also tune to 101.5 FM to listen to Christmas music.
The fishing lakes at the campground help provide a reflective experience as well.
"We have a really nice park," Schmidt said. "I really enjoy this place, but unfortunately this time of year, there's not a lot going on out here. Outside of a few fisherman, it's cold, it's dark and it's quiet. Putting a few Christmas lights up and getting people to come through is a great way to use this beautiful park in the wintertime."
There will be a special night on December 21st. The Grace Lutheran Church Youth Group will have a live nativity scene and program at the campground. Any donations that night will go to the group.
"They'll have several stations set up throughout the park to tell the story of Christmas," Schmidt said. "That night, they're basically taking over the whole park. There'll be some caroling out here that evening. It's going to be a big event. Last year it was our busiest night of the year and we look forward to them being out here again."
The display will remain up through New Year’s Eve. The lights are on every night until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.