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Lights On the Bay Goes to the Dogs

SPCA to keep holiday tails wagging
     Lights on the Bay, the annual holiday display at Sandy Point State Park, has a new producer.
     For 22 years, Anne Arundel Medical Center created the two-mile drive-through light show. Now Anne Arundel County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals takes the reins.
     “We were just not giving Lights on the Bay as much time and attention as we wanted and as it deserved,” said Jan Wood, president of the Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation. “This is a wonderful marriage of two organizations that provide care for two- and four-legged beings, and it keeps an important holiday tradition alive.”
     The SPCA has partnered with Lights on the Bay for Lights & Leashes, the one-night only walking tour, open to both humans and leashed pets. Now the whole spectacular falls on the willing shoulders of the organization.
     “This event is a tradition for generations of families. Children who once went with their grandparents now go with their own kids,” said Society president Kelly Brown. “So when the Medical Center asked if we would be interested in taking over the event, I said absolutely.”
     With the gift comes super-coordinator Kathie Shingles, who will help the SPCA with logistics and planning.
    “We are lucky she is helping us,” Brown said. "It takes nearly 30 days to put the show up, with the help of contractors and volunteers” — who will now be recruited by the SPCA.
     Graul’s is returning as a sponsor, Brown noted with relief. Still, she said, “we are looking for more sponsors to help make the event a great fundraiser and draw more attention to our mission of saving animals.”
     The primary experience remains the same, with two new themes planned for this year: North Pole Village and Enchanted Fairy Tales. Lights & Leashes continues on the first Wednesday night before the drive-through opening, Saturday November 18 (5-10pm). The 23rd Lights on the Bay runs through January 1.