Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill kicks off Friday with more than 5 million lights

Nov. 21—What started as a display of 100,000 lights for the Satariano family to enjoy during the holiday season has turned into a public display with close to 5.1 million lights for families throughout the Miami Valley to enjoy yearly.

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill kicks off its 36th season on Friday, Nov. 24, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 30.

Guests can expect about 300,000 more lights than last year. The majority of the new lights have been added to the covered bridge light show, said Anthony Satariano, who owns the mill with his mother, Patricia. In addition to doubling the number of stars above the bridge, the waterfall of lights will be bigger and thicker, and more lights have been added to the miniature village. Some of the giant trees have been redone as well.

When looking to add lights to the display, Satariano strives to make sure changes are noticeable. Each year he and four to five helpers start putting lights up towards the end of August and finish just before Thanksgiving.

Satariano and The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill have been part of many families' holiday traditions for decades. Satariano enjoys hearing the stories of people coming years ago as kids who are now bringing their own children. He said he has even met grandchildren of their guests.

Jessica Noes, general manager of Clifton Mill who started working at the mill as a server 27 years ago, said her favorite part is "watching the peoples' faces light up when the lights come on."

In 2018, The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill were the heavyweight champions of ABC's "The Great Christmas Light Fight." On Sunday, Nov. 26, at 10 p.m., Clifton Mill will be highlighted in "The Great Christmas Light Fight All Stars," which features a look back at some of the most iconic light displays from previous seasons.

The Legendary Light of Clifton Mill, located at 75 Water St. in Clifton about 20 minutes from downtown Dayton, is open daily from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., weather permitting. Gates open at 5 p.m. Admission is $15 per person. Children three and under are admitted free.

For more information and updates, visit www.cliftonmill.com or the mill's Facebook page.