TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The lights are on, but if you’re at home you can’t see them: The 34th Annual Christmas in the Park began Tuesday afternoon at Deming Park.
For more than the past three decades, as Christmas approaches, Deming Park becomes filled with lights and decorations. Organizations involved with the event say lots of hard work goes into transforming Deming into a winter wonderland.
“When you drive around the park, that’s hours and hours and hours of hard labor, but everybody’s that’s involved does it because it love it,” said Maggie Wheeler, volunteer coordinator at Terre Haute Humane Society.
Wheeler said for the past seven years the Terre Haute Humane Society has set up a display for Christmas in the Park, and this year’s event comes at a time when it is especially needed.
“With 2020, we all need something that’s kind of cheerful and makes you feel good and this year more than ever I think we really need this as a community,” Wheeler said.
Organizations also said Christmas in the Park holds much value in terms of fundraising.
“This year has been a very strange year because we haven’t been able to do our fundraisers and we put on something called a giving garden,” Era Nichols, Wabash Valley Master Gardener, said.
Nichols said the giving garden helps feed those locally in need and the funds raised from Christmas in the Park will play a big role.
“Since we weren’t able to have a fundraiser, this is it this year,” he noted.
Although there are changes, like the cancelation of the opening ceremony, participants said they are happy that organizers found a way to keep the event moving forward.
“It would’ve been easy just to say ‘let’s take the year off’ but they were all determined and the people involved were are all determined to keep this going,” Wheeler said.
Visiting motorists can drive through the park and enjoy 19 decorated shelters. Lights will be turned on about 3:30 p.m. every afternoon. Deming Park closes at 10 p.m.
Non-profit organizations decorated the shelters for a chance at winning prize money totaling more than $13,000. The winners will be chosen Monday, Dec. 7.
Lights will shine throughout the park until Dec. 31st.