The Christmas in the Park committee met last week at City Hall in the Council Chambers to discuss the upcoming events.
After setting up a stand at last weekend's Popcorn Festival, the committee sold four new ornaments and nine ornaments from past years, earning $42. They plan to ask local businesses to sell the remaining ornaments.
Members also distributed several park entry forms and registration forms for the 5K Run/Walk scheduled for Nov. 29. There is a course set up in Forest Park for the 5K Run/Walk, organized by Eric Bass. First, second and third place winners in each division will receive medals, which are embossed with the original Christmas in the Park emblem designed by Jane Mercer.
Overall winners will also each be given a trophy. Registration will be $10 or $15 for those who want a T-shirt. Kroger has agreed to provide bagels and other food items, while Angel Falls in Clay City is donating a dozen cases of water.
A coloring contest between all students from pre-school through 5th grade will take place in November. The winning boy and girl in each age division will be rewarded by a ride on Santa's float during the parade on Dec. 6.
The parade will, as always, be on National Avenue and will travel from Alabama Street to Depot Street, and be followed by a fireworks display. As the parade has gotten very popular in the past few years, many spectators have gotten too close to the floats. Members of the committee plan to take the matter to City Council to see if an ordinance might be passed, allowing cars parked on US 40 during the parade to be removed.
A Basket Bingo fundraiser has also been scheduled Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Businesses from Clay County, along with a few from Greencastle and Terre Haute, have sponsored baskets for the event. Pizza Hut has provided $90 worth of coupons to be distributed as door prizes. Curves has offered to give away a 2-month free membership.
Carriage ride owners from Rockville also attended the meeting. They are scheduled to bring two carriages to the park on Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. Those interested in going for a ride should try to make reservations and pay ahead. The cost to the committee will be a total of $1250 for three hours each night.
Santa will hopefully be in the park from Nov. 29 through Dec. 22. Breakfast with Santa is set for Dec. 13 at Forest Park Elementary School. Kroger and Page's Food Store will be donating doughnuts, milk and orange juice. The Christmas Walk, including hot chocolate for the public, will be Dec. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Problems with security in the park were also discussed. Last year, most of the vandalism of Christmas in the Park decor happened around 5 or 6 a.m. on Sundays and on afternoons after school was dismissed. The committee plans to contact the National Guard to see if they might patrol the park, at least during specific events.
The committee is also checking into putting up a banner before the Covered Bridge Festival is over, where it will be visible to passers-by on SR 59. A banner would cost $550.
Additional costs the committee must cover include the electric bill for the park. It is usually around $1500 and the bill is sent to the Chamber of Commerce. Roy Brann Stadium has a separate electric bill, but if it is decorated, the bill can also be sent to the Chamber or to the committee.
The next Christmas in the Park committee meeting is scheduled Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.