The 35th Annual Holiday in the Park opens at Legion Park on Wednesday and will run through Jan. 3. There are more than 50 structures and 200,000 bulbs waiting as visitors walk through the park with family and friends to view dancing trees, toys, Santa’s sleigh, and more.
The event is hosted by the City of Owensboro’s Department of Parks & Recreation and Public Works Department.
Holiday in the Park began in 1986. At the time, Parks Director Cyndi Sturgeon and Facilities Manager Bill Jackson had a vision of Christmas structures in the Park. Sturgeon and Jackson gathered pictures of different wooden structures and created a catalog with the desired structures, then went around to local businesses in Owensboro to get sponsorships for them.
Sturgeon met with Army Armstrong who, after receiving sponsorship, built the wooden structures for Legion Park, and new structures sponsored by local schools and businesses have been added each year with the City of Owensboro providing the lights.
In January 2000, a tornado swept through Owensboro causing severe damage to many of the structures in the park. This began the process of purchasing lighted displays to be placed around the park.
Each year, Holiday in the Park displays the remaining wooden structures, but lighted displays have been added.