Courthouse display returning to Berryhill Park after $ 76,000 in A & P funds provided to Holiday of Lights | News

The Searcy Holiday of Lights Committee is planning on bringing back the courthouse display at Berryhill Park after having a $ 76,000 funding request approved last week by the Searcy Advertising and Tourism Promotion Commission.

The request was made by Kristi Thurmon, who chairs the Holiday of Lights Committee. The advertising and promotions tax revenue also will be used to add lights and electrical work to Yancey Park and to purchase new and replacement lights.

“We did a really good job of taking ZIP code information last year and we had seven countries represented, 19 states and 150 Arkansas ZIP codes, so Holiday of Lights is certainly a good thing for Searcy,” Thurmon said. people with our advertising and promotion and we want to build on that this year. ”

Thurmon said the Holiday of Lights was “huge” for the city in the 1990s, when then-Mayor David Evans “brought it back. I was still in high school. I graduated in 1993 and they kept it going for about 10 years and it died down. ”

In 2015, the city brought it back again after the eight-year, 1-percent sales and use tax was passed by votes the previous year. She said the committee had “sponsors for all the light displays at Berryhill Park” and told the original sponsors it would not come back for 10 years to ask for more money.

However, she said the committee wants “to make it bigger and better to attract more people.”

She said the First United Methodist Church did three or four of the events. She said the First United Methodist Church did three or four of the events. She said the First United Methodist Church did three or four of the events. The biggest event beside the Jolly Jubilee and Chocolate Gravy Cookoff is the Living Nativity put on by the First Assembly of God, and she said the church mentioned it had a huge increase this year. ..

One of the things Thurmon said the committee hears is “why isn’t Searcy as good as some of the surrounding towns,” and there are a lot of people talking about the Christmas Village from “back in the ’90s at Berryhill Park,” but it costs a lot to bring that back.

The money will allow that the centerpiece of the Christmas Village, the three-dimensional courthouse display, to be brought back along with additional lights and decor.

Berryhill Park will have the courthouse feature with new stars and uplighting, and an arch on the bridge if construction is complete. Yancey Park will receive wire for electricity and light for bridges, the walkway and the pavilion. Spring Park will get lights for gazebo and arch over third bridge. The strip on Mulberry Avenue would have red light Christmas trees in the center and downtown Searcy would have additional raspberry lights for trees around the White County Courthouse square.

The costs listed in the proposal included $ 15,000 for the purchase of new replacement lights and labor, $ 55,000 for the new courthouse feature at Berryhill Park (with an additional $ 20,000 to come from an insurance claim from the damaged fountain display) and $ 6,000 for Yancey Park lights and electrical.

She said a thunderstorm took out one of the fountain light display at Berryhill Park last year. The $ 20,000 received for the city’s claim isn’t enough to replace the found, she said, because the price is about double now.

Thurmon described the courthouse display as being “fully customized.” She said the thinking is that a custom display will set Searcy apart from the other towns. “This has been our dream for a while to bring it back,” Thurmon said.

As far as dimensions for the new display, Thurmon said it is a huge.: We will have to remove some of our currently displays at Berryhill, so we are wanting to move some of the displays from Berryhill over to Yancey Park, light the entire park. ”She said that is why $ 6,000 was needed to upgrade the electrical system at Yancey.

Thurmon mentioned as the trees have grown downtown, more lights have to be purchased to cover them for Holiday of Lights. “It’s a constant struggle to keep up with replacing lights and adding more lights to get bigger and better,” she said.

While it is still early, Thurmon said if the display has to be ordered this month to get it to Searcy on time.

Mayor Kyle Osborne was at the meeting and said he would like to add that he had the opportunity to sit in on the last Holiday of Lights Committee meeting and is “very impressed with the planning that is going into Holiday of Lights for this year.”

“Someone, it might have been Mayor Evans, [said],’You go big or you go home,’ “Osborne said.” We either have to build this up or do away with it. We kind of decided, including myself, to go big. This could be tremendous for the community, it. really could. The planning that is going into this is phenomenal. ”

Thurmon added that last year’s Holiday of Lights Christmas Parade “was amazing,” and Commissioner Tommy Centola, who is on the Holiday of Lights Committee, added, “We have plans to make the parade better.”

Centola abstained from the vote for the funds since he is on the committee.


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