LOGAN — Chief Logan State Park is set to begin the 19th season of Christmas in the Park. The drive-thru display of lights covers more than two miles and families can also visit a gift shop and Santa Land.
Christmas In the Park is an annual drive-thru lighting display founded by Tom “Rose” Tomblin. According to Tomblin’s son Tim who is helping to carry on the tradition, when they started the event, there weren’t many displays. He said the community got involved and helped create displays or helped repair the ones they had. Children in the schools made “Christmas Cards” painted on sheets of plywood to place between the displays, and some cards are made each year.
At this point, Tomblin says there are over 120 display pieces consisting of over one million lights. There are three new LED light displays this year: 24 foot Trumpeting Soldiers, which have animated music notes coming from their instruments; an igloo with an animated penguin family that slides down the igloo into a snow bank and a 20 x 15 foot Noah’s Ark. Some of the animals were made by Logan Vocational School’s welding class, under direction of their instructor Jeremy Frazier.
A 35 foot Christmas tree decorated with 3,500 LED lights will be making it’s third appearance. The Word of Life Church donated part of the display.
Tomblin estimates there is more than $40,000 in new displays and replacement of 10,000 bulbs with the brighter, longer-lasting LED bulbs.
The gift shop will be open nightly and features the 2012 Christmas ornament, a brass lantern with a candle and holly decoration, for $6.99. In the pool area, Santa Land will be open from Dec. 1 thru Dec. 22, Monday through Friday from 6-8 p.m. Photos with Santa will be available.
The display is open Thanksgiving evening thru December 31 from dark until 10 p.m., and is free to the public. Donations from visitors are welcome and appreciated. It depends heavily on donations from visitors to purchase and repair displays, as well as pay for thousands of replacement bulbs and the electric bill.
Visitors are reminded to be safety conscious while driving through the Park. Drive slowly and carefully and please keep car headlights ON. Pedestrians walking and crossing the roadway may not see your vehicle if you drive without lights.