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“Christmas at Panther Creek” set for Nov. 27 – Jan. 2

The Daviess County Parks & Recreation Department is preparing for ‘Christmas at Panther Creek.’

The annual holiday light display is scheduled for November 27th through January 2nd.

“Each night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in excess of 700,000 lights will be adorned throughout Panther Creek Park for families to be able to enjoy and drive through in a safe environment,” said Ross Leigh, Director of Parks & Recreation.

The Parks Department starts to prepare for the light display in early October.  The maintenance staff will string lights on shelters and other buildings throughout the park.

Lighted decorations along the entryway to Panther Creek Park.

“By the first of November, we will have our displays set up,” Leigh explained.  “But the true magic is on the 27th of November, that Friday night after Thanksgiving when we are able to turn out all the lights in the park except the Christmas lights.”

For longtime visitors, many of the displays are a familiar and welcome sight.

“There are a lot of different displays that people see annually that they always expect and then some are new,” Leigh added.  “And that’s part of our process to be able to update and make the program more enjoyable as people come out throughout the season.”

The tradition of ‘Christmas at Panther Creek’ started back in 2003.  It was an idea brought by the late Jim Lambert, who served 16 years as a County Commissioner.

There is a $5 admission fee, per-vehicle, to drive through the display.  Last year, over $20,000 was collected at the gate over five weeks.

“And what we do is break that down in half,” Leigh said.  “The Fiscal Court actually retains about $10,000 of that which we reinvest in the program every year.  And the other half is divided amongst five Daviess County non-profit agencies.”

Over 50 displays and 700,000 lights are set up throughout the park.

Non-profits apply for the opportunity in October.  A member of the Parks Board draws to determine which agencies benefit from the collection at Panther Creek Park.

“They each work seven nights a piece and then at a Fiscal Court meeting in January they receive a check,” Leigh concluded.

New this year is a scavenger hunt sponsored by Independence Bank.

“All those who find the ‘Indy the Eagle’ logos throughout the park will submit a map with the marked locations,” Leigh explained.  “At the end of the program, we will draw out a winner for a new iPad Air sponsored by Independence Bank.”

Also, Owensboro Health is hosting a FREE Community Night on Thursday, December 10th.

For more information about ‘Christmas at Panther Creek,’ visit Daviess County Fiscal Court on Facebook.

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