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Crews start putting up decorations for Winter Wonderland of Lights in Ashland

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 12:18 AM

ASHLAND -- Crews will start putting up the light displays in Central Park this week that will be part of the 25th annual Winter Wonderland of Lights.

"It's basically a year-round project," Marion Russell, Winter Wonderland of Lights chairman said Friday. "We do something every month. We're hoping this will be the biggest and best ever."

There are an estimated 850,000 LED lights used in the display, Russell said. While there are no new displays, several have been expanded and upgraded, he said. "We spent $16,000 to expand the candy factory," he said.

The light display will be open to the public at 6 p.m. Nov. 18. The lights will be turned on each evening around Central Park through Jan. 5. The lights will be on from dusk to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from dusk to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Crews will start putting up Christmas lights and decorations in downtown Ashland by the first of November, Russell said.

"We don't have an estimate on the number of people who see the lights, but some of them come from fairly far away," he said. "Some people make a weekend of it. We'll see people from Chillicothe, Ohio, Charleston, and Georgetown, Ky."

"We get a lot of people from outside Boyd and Greenup counties to visit," Russell said. "We register kids who see Santa and the majority of them are from outside Boyd and Greenup counties."

A number of other events are included as part of Winter Wonderland such as the Ashland Christmas parade at 7 p.m. Nov. 26.

"We're bringing back Jule Huffman (Mr. Cartoon) as grand marshal," Russell said. He served the event's first grand marshal 25 years ago, Russell said.

"We would like to see the community get involved in our events," he said. "We also would like to see more people involved in our beauty pageant. There's a $500 scholarship for the Queen division (ages 17 to 21)."

The beauty pageant is scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Verity Middle School auditorium.

Other events include the Winter Wonderland Train Rides, visits and pictures with Santa, breakfast with Santa, home and business contests and trolley rides around Central Park.

For additional information, contact Paula Mayo at the Ashland Alliance 606-324-5111 or check out www.winterwonderlandoflights.com.

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