Scrap Festival Of Lights?
It came as a shock that the annual Archbold Festival of Lights, the Christmas lights display in Ruihley Park, costs around $13,000 a year.
In these days of falling revenue and lean budgets, should Park Board, or the village, spend $13,000 of taxpayer money for a Christmas lights display?
When the festival started, the park was filled with homemade displays and decorations developed and constructed by local groups. The maintenance department from Sauder Woodworking gave us the incredible animated Elf House, and elementary school youngsters played a part with their adorable decorated dinosaurs.
The community was excited about the festival, because they had ownership in it. The festival was something Archbold and area residents put together with their own hands, and Toledo Edison subsidized the electricity bill.
Since then, the festival has lost the original excitement. Now the displays are mostly commercially manufactured; attractive, but not ours.
Without that excitement and support, is there a reason to continue?
It was suggested a donation bucket be placed at the exit. Donations won't cover the cost, and the festival's reputation was built on being free- why bother?
Village residents must ask themselves a hard question- is it time to give up the Festival of Lights?