Buice column: New ‘discounted’ prices for lights show

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 4, 2021

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Prices keep going up everywhere, including the Tanglewood Festival of Lights.

I happened to be walking in my favorite park one day last week in advance of doing this week’s front-page story with information on this year’s lights show when I spotted a small red sign along the entrance road that caught my attention — FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, FAMILY: $20 Cash (discounted) $23 Credit/Debit.


First, I stumbled on the $20 Cash (discounted). I thought I remembered the entrance fee being $15 for years for cars, vans and trucks, so I could understand a price increase might be in order.

But I didn’t see how paying an extra $5 was a discount. Then I saw the $23 Credit/Debit and figured out that’s why there was the word “discounted” after the $20 cash rate.

When I started working on my story and inquired about the change, I received a comment from Mike Anderson, Forsyth County Parks and Recreation director, that “the new and actual price for each category is the credit card pricing and cash prices are discounted.”

He mentioned that the rate hike came as a result of the increased costs of operating the show and added this: “Because cash transactions take less time to process, we hope that we will see an increase in these transactions, therefore improving the traffic flow.”

Makes sense, but many people don’t even use the green stuff these days. Most, I figure, would just as soon pay the extra $3 to stay with the convenience of plastic.

So the options are to go to the bank or cash machine and get a $20 bill — and get the discount while helping with traffic flow, or to “pay up” and feed a few more dollars to the county piggy bank. Win-win, right?

Hey, I’m OK with paying a few more bucks — cash or credit — to make the annual trip to see the Festival of Lights. Sure, it can be a long night in traffic, but where else can you see such a spectacular holiday lights display?

And it’s only once a year for most of us. It’s not like the constant ritual of putting out more and more dollars to get gas, go to the grocery store or anything else these days.

There are no discounts to be found anywhere.

• • • • •

Speaking of grocery stores, the arrival of Aldi in Clemmons — with today’s (Nov. 4) grand opening — has drawn a lot of buzz in the community, similar to when Chick-fil-A, Dairi-O and Publix came to town in recent years.

Certainly, the timing couldn’t be better with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. It will serve as an anchor tenant in the old Big Kmart site on Lewisville-Clemmons Road.

Everyone says that the village already has more than enough grocery stores, but Aldi, known for its discount prices, offers another option for local shoppers to go along with recent addition Publix and established mainstays Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods and Walmart.

The rumors had been going on for quite some time about Aldi coming to the village, and it will be interesting to see what else might be coming to fill space in the redeveloped building.

• • • • •

For Wake Forest football, these are the best of times. In fact, this is the best start of all-time for the hometown team, which is off to an 8-0 start and has just cracked the nation’s top 10 for the first time in program history.

It’s been great to be able to have live football again with fans in the stands after last year’s pandemic, and Wake has put on quite a show this season.

The Deacons are one of the top-scoring teams in the country, recently scoring 70 points in a victory at Army, and have a chance to repeat their storybook season 15 years ago when they won the ACC championship and went to the Orange Bowl.

Quick trivia question: Name the last N.C. school to win the ACC football championship.

Answer: Wake Forest, 2006.

• • • • •

Good food for thought from Power of Positivity, a news/media website that provides daily inspiration, motivation and tools to live a happier life:

Five things to quit right now:

  • Trying to please everyone.
  • Fearing change
  • Living in the past
  • Putting yourself down
  • Overthinking.