Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 25, 2013

Holiday of Lights hoping for additional contributions to make up for short season

BLUEFIELD — A shorter holiday season has resulted in lower donations at a popular holiday attraction, but there is still time to enjoy its lights and make a contribution before it ends this year.

The annual Holiday of Lights at Lotito Park started later this year because Thanksgiving came later, said Dwight Godwin, director of the Bluefield Parks and Recreation Department. This has reduced the amount of donations collected at the free event this year.

Godwin estimated donations were down approximately $1,000 due to the shortened holiday season.

“We’re down because it’s a six-day difference from last year,” Godwin said.

Several Christmas light displays were darkened when a thief or thieves entered the park on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3 and stole copper power cables. The losses have been repaired and have not impacted the displays, Godwin said.

The Bluefield, Va., Police Department is investigating the copper thefts. The loss shut off 10 to 15 percent of the displays. Godwin estimated that the restoring the displays would cost approximately $2,000.

“Everything’s back up, and we’ve had a lot of cars coming through. People have been very generous with their donations this year,” he stated. “We encourage people to continue to support it. Our last day will be Dec. 31.”

A few displays were being installed when the theft occurred, but now all the lights are up and running.

“We pretty much have everything, the Twelve Days of Christmas and all that stuff,” Godwin said. “Whatever donations we get, we appreciate it. It lets us continue to do this at no charge, and our goal is to continue to do it at no charge. We look forward to seeing people on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”

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