Archbold, OH

Would More Involvement Solve Festival Vandalism?

The word incredible is defined as so extraordinary as to seem impossible; not credible; hard to believe; unbelievable.

An Archbold police report states two brothers, ages 10 and 14, removed 270 light bulbs from displays in the Festival of Lights and broke them, apparently just to hear the “pop” when they shatter.

Isn’t it incredible to think anyone, of any age, thinks breaking bulbs is an acceptable activity?

There should be punishment, certainly. Some counseling might also be in order.

Vandalism to the festival certainly isn’t new. Wires were cut and six bulbs were stolen in 1989, the first year of the festival.

That first year, many of the displays were homemade, and youngsters helped raise money for the project. Two simple lighted dinosaur cutouts, Dino and Bronty, were favorites of elementary school students. High school students built the snowflakes that adorned lightpoles.

Our youths had a stake in the light festival. They had ownership.

Perhaps the village has gotten away from the homemade, hometown feel of the festival. Our displays are now often purchased, rather than built locally. Children aren’t involved like they were in the beginning.

Maybe it’s time to get students involved again, so they feel they’re contributing to the success of the Festival of Lights.

More involvement may not stop the vandalism… but what could it hurt?

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