Now that the holiday season has come to an end, crews from Ardmore’s Parks and Recreation Department are working to take down Christmas displays to store until the fall. They began their work at Central Park on Monday, and according to Director Teresa Ervin the process will take about three weeks.
“We start out at Central Park because those get put in the back of the building,” Ervin said. “We start taking things down slowly, and typically we wait for everyone to get back from vacations for the high stuff and the large displays because they are heavier.”
She said the weight and the height of the displays make having a full crew extremely important when it comes to taking everything down.
“Unless you’ve ever stood right by one, you don’t really understand how tall they are. Sometimes I can’t even reach the top of the first panel to change out bulbs,” Ervin said, adding that some of the displays are three panels high. “We always have a lift that we use each year. We have it for installation when we put them up, during the Festival of Lights for repairs, and also for the takedown and storage.”
She said that while factors such as the weather and manpower can cause the order in which things are taken down to vary slightly from year to year, they typically take the displays out the same way that they put them up.
“We lay them down. Then we load them on the trailer, bring them in and stack them very carefully into the buildings,” Ervin said. “There’s a lot of displays and not a lot of building space.”
The city has dedicated storage buildings for the displays that the crew refers to as Christmas buildings. The Christmas buildings also store all the electric cords.
“Cords are important,” Ervin said. “We make sure to keep them labeled, together and rolled up so they’re not a mess next year.” She added that sponsor signs were other important items stored in the buildings.
“We take them and stack them all together. That way we know what we had. If logos change, or colors change, or there are any name changes, typically we change right along with them,” Ervin said.
Ervin said very final items to go into storage each year are the arches that people drive under during the Festival of Lights because those are the largest displays.