The seventh annual Gardens Aglow at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay kicked off Saturday, putting a spotlight not only on dazzling light displays but also on the pandemic’s enduring grip.

In past years, visitors could roam freely on the grounds, but this year’s event is a driving tour, open Thursday through Sunday through New Year’s Day. Organizers made the transition to a driving event to better enforce COVID-19 safety protocols.

Nearly 650,000 energy-efficient LED bulbs are featured in this year’s display, which adds up to about 60 miles of lights. Visitors also have a chance to vote for their favorite display made by a business, a Maine resident or both.

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