20 yrs. of Christmas in the Park

Martha Sparks msparks@civitasmedia.com

December 5, 2013

CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will be at Chief Logan State Park today at 6 p.m. in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Christmas in the Park.

Christmas in the Park began with a desire to decorate Chief Logan State Park for the Christmas Season by the late Tom “Rose” Tomblin and members of The Logan Guyandotte Improvement Committee Inc.

Many of the original displays, which were made locally, are still in use today. The larger displays use thousands of lights. For example, the “two golfers”, takes 697 lights; “Old Glory” takes a whopping 2,150 lights; the “Rocking Horse” takes 896 lights and 4480 watts of electricity to operate. The “Nativity Scene” is so large it requires a separate electrical connection. It uses 2,620 lights, and was purchased at a cost of $10,000 with contributions from area churches. One of the most beautiful displays, the arrangement of seven poinsettias surrounding four candles, takes 5,330 lights.

One of the original displays, the animated deer leaping over the road, became a victim of the severe snowstorm that hit the area in December 2009.

There is no charge for viewing Christmas in the Park, but giving a donation at the entrance helps to bring Christmas in the Park annually. Donations are used to pay for the electricity, maintenance and upkeep of the displays and buying or making new displays.

The celebration ceremony is scheduled to be held outside Museum in the Park, but in case of inclement weather, the event will be moved inside the museum.