(Posted Sept. 24, 2014)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Carol Beachy knows Halloween season is just beginning, but that doesn’t mean Christmas isn’t on her mind.
Beachy coordinates West Jefferson’s Christmas in the Park, an annual light display and celebration at Garrette Park. This year’s festivities are Dec. 12-14, after which the lights will shine nightly through Jan. 1.
“We will start light testing on Satur-days in October. That’s the main thing I need help with ahead of time,” Beachy said.
The display features over 400,000 lights. Volunteers are needed to ensure the lights work before they go on trees and buildings in the park. Beachy also needs help reviving a decorative train set that stands about three feet high. The set needs $500 worth of LED lights.
After about a five-year hiatus, horse-drawn carriage rides are back on the Christmas in the Park schedule. Aaron Rhoades, a West Jefferson native now living in Indiana, is doing the honors through his company, Back Rhoades Drafts.
“There will be no charge for the rides, but we will take donations,” Beachy said. The rides will be offered all three nights.
Other regular features include visits from Santa all three nights, a lighted parade on Dec. 13, a toy giveaway on Dec. 14, and a house lighting contest.
Donations are always welcome to help defray the costs of putting on Christmas in the Park. Beachy said she has already received $2,500 from individuals and businesses to purchase more LED lights. Also, StraightUp Equipment Co. out of Lewis Center is donating the use of a lift to hang the lights, a savings of $3,000.
This year marks the 19th annual Christmas in the Park.
“It’s put on by a group of local citizens who want to beautify the park and do something for the community,” Beachy said.
To volunteer, call Carol Beachy at West Jefferson Hardware, (614) 879-9036, or leave a message at (614) 879-8818. Anyone is welcome to attend the next planning meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Ox Box at Garrette Park.
To make a donation, send a check to “Christmas in the Park,” P.O. Box 292, West Jefferson, OH 43162. Watch for more event details at www.wjchristmaspark.org.