While Sixth Street Park is the home for the new 12 Days of Christmas light display from Thanksgiving to New Years, a storage shed in Lemon Park will help provide a home for the lights the rest of the year.
When Deb Goyen, Lemon Park Lights organizer, decided to get the 12 Days of Christmas light display and put it in Sixth Street Park, she had to have someplace to store displays for the rest of the year.
The main storage building for the Lemon Park lights had reached capacity and it was going to require an addition to the building to store the new displays.
That addition was going to cost several thousand dollars and that was a problem because the Lemon Park Lights funds are very limited.
Enter Mark Eckhoff, city parks superintendent.
Lemon Park has a storage shed just a few feet away from the shelter house on the west side of the park. Most of the items in this shed had been moved to a shed at the Green Sports Complex and was sitting there almost empty, Goyen said.
Eckhoff offered to finish clearing out the shed and giving it to Goyen for an additional storage shed for Lemon Park Lights displays.
The additional space meant that some of Lemon Park Light displays could be moved out of the main storage building providing enough room for the 12 Days of Christmas displays without having to add on to the main building.
The Lemon Park storage shed has a concrete floor, a workbench and an electrical outlet so it will be perfect for display maintenance, Goyen said.
The gift of the storage shed will save thousands of dollars that Lemon Park Lights can use for display maintenance and purchasing bulb replacements.
The entire 12 Days of Christmas project including purchasing the displays and adding on to the existing storage shed was going to cost about $55,000.
However, with the donation of the shed and public donations to purchase displays, the savings added up to about $30,000 on the entire project cost.
Another part of the savings was the LED lights in the display. The LED lights use minimal electricity and last longer than other lights so it helps save on the electric bill.
Another issue with the new display was finding someone to set up and take the display down.
Enter the Pratt Firefighters.
The firefighters volunteered to be in charge of set up and take down of the 12 Days display.
The firefighters, 25 of them, showed up on the Saturday afternoon before set up day and in about an hour and a half had installed 12 displays and eight control boxes.
Page 2 of 2 - "It was amazing," Goyen said. "A huge thanks goes out to our firemen."
Goyen said she was concerned that people might be let down with just 12 displays in Sixth Street Park because it was the only displays in the park.
"I hope people are not disappointed that it's not fuller," Goyen said.
But from the response she has been getting, the only problem people are having with the new display is remembering the song that goes with the displays as they drive through the park.
"They (visitors) do great on the first five displays but they have trouble remembering the entire song," Goyen said.
Even with the song problems, Goyen said she has had lots of positive comments about the new display and it has been a positive addition to the 20-year-old tradition.