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Volunteers prepare for 2020 Lemon Parks Lights exhibition

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
Peanuts comic strip character Lucy, will be at home in her pysch box, a new lighted display for the Lemon Park Lights exhibit this year. Volunteers are hard at work preparing the lighted elements for the annual Christmas show.

Volunteers are hard at work, putting in hours of time to fix and replace light bulbs in the annual park Christmas displays. 

Deb Goyen, Pratt, leader of the light brigade,  said organizations and individuals take responsibility for setting up the 80-plus displays.

‘It’s definitely the community effort that brings it all together,” Goyen said.

The bulb-changing initiative has in progress since early September with assistance from PCC Softball Team, PCC Cheer Squad and Circle Leaders, among other volunteers.

“We can still use help,” Goyen said. “It’s a massive project.”

Lemon Park Lights 2020 Edition will GO LIVE!, with lights switched on Saturday evening, November 21, to remain shining for night visitors through January 3.

“The lights will be brighter than ever this year,” said Goyen.

The lights will be brighter this year because volunteers are in the process of replacing, one by one, the standard Christmas light bulbs with LED bulbs.

“The LED bulbs not only burn brighter, but also last longer, up to 50,000 hours, and use less electricity,” Goyen said. “We’re doing the whole Nativity Scene and a few other displays this year and we’ll be replacing bulbs in other displays over the next few years as funds allow.”

New this year to the more than 80 different lighted displays is an addition to the Peanuts gang arrangement. Snoopy will be joined by Lucy manning her Psych Booth and by Schroeder playing his piano, sponsored by Larrison Mortuary. The Peanuts comic strip display is located on the right side of the roadway near the exit.

The new displays were created by Ron Miller, whose talent is evidenced throughout the park by his handicraft.

“Ron’s amazing,” Goyen said. “He saves us a lot of money by not having to buy all commercial displays.”

Since 1999, one of the highlights of Lemon Park Lights has been the fire-breathing green dragon and two baby dragons whose reflections create duplicate images of the brightly-lit display as it floats on the lake at the north end of Lemon Park.

The flashing arches at the lake are another Lemon Park Lights spectacular display, as are a field of 48 animated colorful Christmas trees at the south end of the park. This display was designed and created by Miller, who hooked up the colorful trees to control boxes to make them flash on and off, creating an eye-catching, classy popular display.

Laser lights which project dancing spots of color on the ground are back this year, again adding their whimsy to the Christmas wonderland where holiday music can be piped into vehicles through radio broadcast and is also broadcast throughout the park for the enjoyment of walkers.

Homage is paid to the meaning of Christmas with a Nativity Scene featuring the Three Wise Men on camels approaching Baby Jesus in his manger, which sets on home plate of Angood Field.ith s

Other popular exhibits are Santa’s Village, the American Flag --flanked by two sentries—and the Farm Scene which, Goyen said, began in 1995 and just keeps growing.

Goyen shares history and updates about displays and activities on the Lemon Park Lights Facebook site, where she posts lots of pictures.

Here’s an interesting bit of recent history: Last year, Christmas 2019, according to the official Lemon Park Traffic Counter, 19,726 vehicles took the one-mile drive through Pratt's oldest and most scenic park with thousands of lights and animated displays.

At the exit of the display, a collection box is situated for those wishing to make a donation to cover expenses to maintain the exhibits and for new additions.