Christmas lights danced and flashed, shining brightly and cutting through the dark Tuesday night at Regional Park, tattle-telling on their burned out or broken neighbors.
Now that Halloween has passed, the city of Ardmore’s Parks and Recreation Department is making a list and checking it twice for bulbs that are naughty or nice in more than 150 displays throughout Regional Park for the annual Festival of Lights.
The department had a “Bulb Party” Tuesday night to help start the checklist of things that need to be worked on to prepare for the Christmas season. From belly-flopping snowmen to reindeer catching a ride on a whale, sponsored and unsponsored displays alike will get spruced up before opening night Nov. 19.
Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Ervin said several people will go out and take a look at the displays, trying to determine which bulbs need replaced. More often than not, one person will catch a bulb that’s out that another person didn’t catch, so having lots of eyes on the lookout helps, she said.
Employees also check the timing on some of the animated displays, like a fish jumping across the road and syncing up right as it flashes through each stage of the jump, making sure a running cowboy’s legs are in sync, or that Dancer and Prancer are dancing and prancing like they should.
Crews were out late working Tuesday night and the park is already further along this year than they were last year, Ervin said. The park has also received help from several companies and groups volunteering to help, including the Ardmore Fire Department.
A mixture of ground crews and crews in bucket trucks scour the displays to replace each and every bulb, making sure Christmas will be merry and very bright.
To help with the expansion and maintenance of the Festival of Lights, the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce will have their annual auction tonight, starting with a silent auction at 5:30 p.m. and a live auction at 7 p.m. in the Ardmore Convention Center. There will also be a happy hour and entertainment.
“Since its inception, the auction has raised more than $100,000 through the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is reinvested directly into the expansion and maintenance of the drive thru display at Regional Park,” a chamber newsletter says.
“For the last 19 years, it’s been the support of the community and donations from local business owners and individuals that have made this auction a repeated success, and we need your help to meet our goal again this year.”