Now running for the sixth year, the Town of Blackfalds lights display at Tayles Water Spray Park is once again a great success.
Director of Community Services for the Town of Blackfalds Sean Barnes said that the display has grown quite a bit over the past six years and added that this year’s display is the largest and best one yet.
“When we started six years ago it was pretty small,” said Barnes.
He added that this year, over 500 people gathered in the park to watch as the display was lit up for the first time on Nov. 27.
When Blackfalds first started decorating the Tayles Water Spray Park in the winter, it was quite a small display.
Barnes said only a few trees were decorated and the perimeter of the park was lit up.
Now, several of the park’s mature trees have lights and quite a few artificial trees have been added to the display as well.
There are also standalone light structures, the park’s gazebo is lit up and there is even a musical light show that runs each night.
Shaun Knowles, one of the parks employees who set up the display, said work on the display started in the second week of November and was completed on Nov. 27.
In addition to decorating the park, workers also had to spend time setting up the sequences for the musical light show, added Knowles.
Music and lights for the show are controlled by two control boxes in the park, said Knowles.
Computer signals between the boxes tell the lights when to flash and music is played from two large speakers at one end of the park.
This is third year in a row Blackfalds has had a musical lights show as part of the display.
Each year, features and colours of the display are changed and decisions are made on what to add to it.
Knowles said there are already plans to decorate two more of the large evergreens in the park along the perimeter in next year’s display.
All the lights in the display are LED energy-efficient bulbs, said Knowles. As such there is little cost to the Town to power the display.
He said at the absolute most, it would cost about $1,000 to light the park for a month.
Knowles and Barnes said that the park is visited every night by people who wish to take in the display.
Couples, families and even professional photographers from all over Central Alberta come to Blackfalds to enjoy the lights.
Those who see it once often come back to visit with friends and family visiting for the holidays.
Barnes said the Town decided to start doing a light display at a time when it was trying to provide more events for the community.
He said that the light display’s popularity as seen the first year made it an annual event.
Tayles Water Spray Park was chosen as the location for the display because of its large number of mature trees and proximity to the civic centre, said Barnes.
Knowles added that the park is certainly a popular destination during the summer and doing the display there during the holidays allows citizens to get some use out of the park during the winter months as well.
This year’s light display features 364 strings of lights, the most lights the display has ever had.
It also features several light structures and was connected and set up with over 100 extension cords.
While the light display starts lighting up at 4:30 p.m. nightly, many of the lights are linked to photocells and turn on whenever it is dark enough.
The musical lights show at the Tayles Water Spray Park begins at 6 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.