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Fairground’s Festival of Lights: The People Behind the Sparkle

Mike and Kathy Justice spend weeks each year creating amazing light displays at the Lassen County Fairgrounds

A SusanvilleStuff Feature
by Melissa Blosser

The Holiday Festival of Lights begins its month-long run at the Lassen County Fairgrounds this weekend and behind all the sparkle lies hours of work from members of the community who volunteer their time to set up light displays for the public to drive through and view.

One Susanville couple in particular, Mike and Kathy Justice, dedicate weeks each holiday season to setting up a musical display to delight festival visitors. Thousands of twinkling lights synchronized to music that you can hear on your car’s radio!

Mike and Kathy have added new lights and new songs to the display each year since the light fair began in 2007.

“Each song actually takes me about an hour to program,” said Mike Justice. “This year we added a few lit arches, we try to add something every year.”

According to Mike Justice the light fair includes 4,766 ft of extension cords and 24,479 lights, and the couple keeps spreadsheets and diagrams to ensure the fair can sustain the electricity.

Last year over 900 people visited the Festival of Lights with Christmas Eve as the most popular night. Donations are collected in a small mailbox at the exit of the fair and help pay for the electricity to keep the Festival of Lights going.

People from all over Lassen County travel here to view the lights as a holiday tradition, making family memories.

“We enjoy knowing that we are helping people make their memories,” said Mike Justice.  “It was something we always did as a family and now we can help others enjoy.”

Come visit the light fair each weekend through Christmas 5:00 – 9:00p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and from 5:00-8:00p.m. on Sunday. For more information call 251-8900.

Here’s a video clip taken last year at the Festival of Lights.

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