The Christmas Light Show, an ever-growing annual holiday event, is coming back this upcoming weekend to begin its 11th year, once again in a residential section of Wall Township.

Dan Brateris, director of experiential learning at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the show's chief organizer, said thousands of spectators are expected at each of two nightly performances at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, 11 and 17.

The event remains free to the public, and that includes food and drink. But as it has expanded in popularity and scope, Brateris said the help of sponsors coming on board is just one of the ways the Christmas Light Show continues to raise money for a charitable cause. In this case, that cause is the group Challenged Youth Sports.

"This year, in an effort to help support Challenged Youth Sports the best we can, we have a suggested donation for people who attend the show," Brateris said, emphasizing that he and the other organizers simply appreciate any donations they receive.

The sports organization, which is about to embark on a name change to Rally Cap Sports and has begun to expand nationally, develops sports leagues designed to fully include children with disabilities.

"It's a great, fantastic charity that we've been very happy to support since we started, and now that support is even more critical, because the people who run this charity have the biggest hearts in the world you'll ever find," Brateris said.

As always, the biggest challenge is ensuring safety for all involved at the light show, so in addition to the continued contributions of Wall police, the organizers have contracted other individuals to assist with crowd control and managing parking.

And as for the show itself, there is at least one significant new wrinkle this year: drones, with color-changing lights on the bottom, that will be moving around, synchronized with the rest of the stationary lights.

Last year, the event raised a record $18,000 for Challenged Youth Sports.

More specifics direct from the Christmas Light Show:

"All parking is located at the North Wall Little League Field (2744 Belmar Blvd., Wall Township, NJ 07719). Attendees must park at the field and walk to the show. Please carpool if you can. The police-controlled walking route is a 10-minute walk. Woolley Road will be closed with handicapped access at the discretion of the Wall Police Department. Please arrive 30 to 40 minutes prior to show time and bring a flashlight.

In the event of poor weather, the show may be rescheduled. Visit TheChristmasLightShow.com after 2 p.m. on the day of the show for status information.

Check out our "What's So Great About the Garden State" coverage of the Christmas Light Show from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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