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Wisconsin Airport Turns Runway Into Drive-Thru Light Show that Pays Tribute to Frontline Workers

As people continue to practice social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, this Wisconsin airport is offering a safe and entertaining way to brighten up locals’ evenings.

Dane County Regional Airport in Madison opened its first annual drive-thru light display, Flight of Lights, this weekend, an attraction made up of over 2 million individual lights, Travel and Leisure reported.

The free show runs along the International Lane at the airport and features six different themed displays, including special tributes to health care workers and first responders.

“Most people are starting to get bored in the house. There’s only so much you can do,” Nick Kazmierczak, a spokesman for the airport, told the outlet.

“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,” he added.

The displays are all themed and include, “tropical vacation,” “spring is blooming,” “cheer on Wisconsin sports” and “fly non-stop,” according to the airport’s website.

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Several major destinations like New York City, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Nashville are highlighted, with nods to famous images like the Statue of Liberty and Mickey Mouse.

Since its opening, over 400 cars have driven through the cheery attraction, Kazmierczak noted.

The Flight of Lights was originally supposed to open in mid-May, however, once the pandemic struck the airport made a change in plans.

“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.

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He added, “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.”

The display will be open nightly from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. through May 10.

As of Wednesday, there have been at least 4,620 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 243 deaths in Wisconsin, according to a New York Times database. Across the U.S., at least 805,772 have contracted the illness and there have been more than 40,000 deaths.

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