TOP STORY OF THE DAY, brought to you free by WICU: US Lawns defends title of best holiday display
The Christmas In The Park has been a busy place this year, and event organizers couldn’t be happier.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed life for everyone by social distancing, and wearing masks became a part of normalcy, but board members Linda Ray and Eddie Treadway admit they were worried about this year’s event.
“We didn’t know what it would look like,” said Treadway, who was determined to make sure it happened. “We needed Christmas this year for so many reasons. But when the governor and the state health department said no, we weren’t sure what would happen next. The parade is the biggest in the area; thousands of people come to see it.”
Ray said they were happy the light show in the park and the Santa House could continue with restrictions. However, over the years finding businesses to sponsor and decorate the shelters has been challenging.
“We want to see the park return to the splendor of what it was in the beginning,” said Treadway.
COVID-19 created a strange situation, and many people realized the splendor and importance of Christmas. Organizers said the people wanting to participate in Christmas In The Park was terrific, with all the shelters taken about midway through November.
Treadway began looking for other ways people could help provide joy, including a couple of smaller display areas and a row of Christmas trees to decorate.
“It’s the most decorated it’s been in years,” said Treadway, with Ray saying people are talking now about what they want to and can do next year.
“We thank this wonderful community, various organizations, and the local businesses so much for their support this year. COVID-19 changed everything we did, from fundraising to the event itself. We were worried about what would happen, but this has been amazing,” said Ray. “Plus, the park has been very busy with motorists driving through to see the displays. There’s a new excitement as we head into 2021 and next year’s event.”
With so many creative light displays in the park, it was difficult for a panel of judges to select the 2020 winner for the traveling trophy. US LAWNS was chosen again for their brightly lit display at the north intersection of Forest Park, along Pinckley Street. The prize was presented to the company on Wednesday, Dec. 23. In 2019 the company had approximately 15,000 lights, and it appeared to be even brighter this year with a couple of new ornaments in the display.
“Always on the lookout for something to add to the display,” said Kelsy Wells, who believes using LED lights is essential for the night display. “It’s awesome to win for the second year in the row.”
Ray said it was a tough decision this year with so many terrific light displays.
The Clover Signs’ “Candy Land” display at the Fountain of Tales located at the west entrance of Forest Park was selected as the best ground display for 2020.