Grayson County "Holiday Lights" in a financial bind

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

DENISON, TX -- It was "lights out" for Grayson County's annual Holiday Lights due to the ice storm earlier this month. But, organizers say they aren't letting old man winter dampen their holiday spirit. The lights are back on, but the storm's impact is still being felt.

For the first time in 13 years, Grayson County's Holiday Lights were forced to close down for six days due to snow and ice.

They just expanded this year, but now they're $20,000 dollars short.

It's estimated nearly 35,000 people drive through Loy Lake Park in Denison each year for the annual Holiday Lights.

"We come through this every year. We love it!"

"It was great! I loved it!"

For many, it's become a holiday tradition.

"We live less than a mile from here and we come through here several times every year."

While the lights are shining bright again, and business has picked up, organizer Jeff Schneider says they're still feeling the effects of the ice storm.

"We're in a little bit of a bind this year," Schneider said.

A $20,000 bind. They lost about two weeks of visitors and donations.

Schneider says while the event is free to the public, they need those donations because running 400,000 watts of electricity isn't cheap.

"We have about an $8,000 to $10,000 electric bill. We're running a generator this year. We pay our staff overtime to be out here to oversee," he said.

Extra money, which could have been used for improvements down the road.

"It will put a little bit of a damper on our ability to be able to buy new displays for next year. So, it may cause us a little hiccup, but it's not catastrophic," Schneider said.

The Holiday Lights have been extended one week into the new year.

If you'd like to check them out, lights turn on from 5:30 - 10 p.m. every night.

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