About 400 cars drove through during their opening weekend.

By Alison Fox
Updated June 01, 2020
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Ian DeGraff

An airport in Wisconsin is — literally — brightening the spirits of their community with an elaborate drive-through light display, perfect for social distancing.

The free Flight of Lights display, which includes more than 2 million individual lights spread over 300 different displays, opened over the weekend at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison.

About 400 cars drove through this past weekend during their opening, marveling at colorful images of New York City, dice from Las Vegas, and even a nod to Mickey Mouse, spokesman for the airport, Nick Kazmierczak, told Travel + Leisure.

Ian DeGraff
Ian DeGraff
Ian DeGraff

The light show also paid tribute to first responders, including police and healthcare workers, and a few things that are currently not an option to enjoy in person; sports and a beach vacation.

“Most people are starting to get bored in the house. There's only so much you can do,” Kazmierczak said. “A new event and outdoor activity they can go to with their family is something people are really enjoying, as well as the fact that they get to pay tribute to all these frontline, essential workers.”

Wisconsin’s “safer at home” order went into effect on March 25 and prohibits most gatherings, closing public spaces like playgrounds.

Ian DeGraff

The idea for the light display was actually hatched in the beginning of the year with the goal of going up in mid-May, but the coronavirus pandemic led to some tweaking and an earlier start date.

“COVID-19 hit and after about a week of a safer at home order here, we decided let’s alter this a little bit, keep the same spring, aviation theme, but add some tributes to the frontline workers,” Kazmierczak said, adding the airport was inspired by individual efforts to thank essential workers. “We wanted to do that on a larger scale and really say thank you to all these essential employees who are really getting us through the pandemic.”

Ian DeGraff
Ian DeGraff