WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Last year for the holidays people had to find makeshift ways to celebrate. Gathering indoors proved difficult with surging coronavirus cases and deaths, so a local church decided to gather people outside while staying safe.
The Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines put on a makeshift light show in the parking lot for families to come and drive through. The show received overwhelming support, so much so that the church is hosting a light show again this year.
“Last year’s Christmas we didn’t have anything that people could come to indoors,” said Jeremy Johnson, a pastor at the Lutheran Church of Hope. “So we started it last year, but it was such a success we couldn’t not bring it back this year.”
“Journey to the Light” is the title of this year’s show in the church’s parking lot. On the event’s Facebook page, just under 10,000 people have said they are interested in going.
Instead of just planning the show in a couple of weeks like last year, there was a whole team dedicated to the planning for several months. Dozens of volunteers were at work over the weekend to set up the lights for families to enjoy. Johnson wanted to highlight that the show is completely free and it is meant for anyone and everyone.
“People can experience something together. The whole community is invited and it is free. It doesn’t cost a single thing,” said Johnson. “It is something that people can experience light, in the time of the year that it is the darkest than it is in any other time of the year.”
Due to the high demand of the show last year, the church added a day to the light show. “Journey to the Light” is open from Monday, Dec. 13 to Friday, Dec. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be bins for people to drop non-perishable food items that will be given to food pantries around the metro. To view more information on the light show, visit the church’s website.