Christmas at Panther Creek returning with extra enthusiasm

November 2, 2020 | 12:10 am

Updated November 1, 2020 | 8:52 pm

File photo by AP Imagery

Dazzling displays of twinkling lights will return to Panther Creek Park this winter. “Christmas at Panther Creek,” an annual drive-thru holiday park, will open nightly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning Nov. 27 and ending Jan. 2.

Panther Creek Park will house 50 holiday displays with an estimated 700,000 individual lights throughout its 1.15 mile loop. There will be familiar displays as well as newly designed additions, including a new Christmas tree.

“Anything we can put lights on, we do,” said Ross Leigh, Daviess County Parks and Recreation Department director.

Each year, the county spends several thousand dollars replacing lightbulbs to maintain the neon experience. But they raise money in the process.

Tickets cost $5 per vehicle and help support randomly-selected Daviess County nonprofits, which this year includes Owensboro Lions Club, The Arc of Owensboro Inc./Opportunity Center, Joe Ford Nature Center, New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services and the Stanley Playground Association.

Last year, the event generated more than $20,000. Daviess County Fiscal Court, the official event host, retains half of the funding annually and the other half is divided between the five nonprofits.

“The best part of ‘Christmas at Panther Creek’ is the money we’re able to give back to Daviess County agencies,” Leigh said.

Leigh expects that this year could bring even larger crowds.

“People are going to be able to, in a safe fashion, enjoy something they’ve done annually, or enjoy for the first time,” he said.

New this year, Owensboro Health will be sponsoring a free “community night” on Dec. 10, and Independence Bank will be debuting a scavenger hunt in the park.

The parks department will entertain ideas for other offerings during the next several weeks.

For more details, visit the Daviess County Fiscal Court Facebook event page or contact the Daviess County Parks office at 270-685-6142.

November 2, 2020 | 12:10 am

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