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Christmas lights illuminate Hoisington

POSTED November 25, 2011 11:09 a.m.
KAREN LA PIERRE/

These Christmas stars were made by employees of...

 

HOISINGTON — "Light up Hoisington" became a community project in 1999, and homes and buildings throughout the city are now illuminated throughout the Christmas season.

"It’s a good project," said Lee Van Scyoc, chamber volunteer.

Spearheaded by Van Scyoc, there was 100 percent participation from the businesses to buy the lights early in that year. He found a track system from a company in Oklahoma, where the lights are clipped to a plastic track that is screwed onto the building. The lights can be left up permanently, and they stay straight and don’t dangle.

"We’ve had many donors in town," said Van Scyoc. "It turned out to be a nice project."

Phase I of the project took 18,500 feet of the track. All of the bulbs and wiring were purchased out of Chicago which amounts to about 18,000 to 19,000 bulbs. The work during the project was done by volunteers. Each year, every one of the bulbs is checked for breakage or burnout.

Last year, the city did the project with the city bucket truck, said Van Scyoc.

The 82 stars that decorate the light poles were fabricated by the city of Hoisington employees. There are 67 bulbs in each star.

Unfortunately, the company that made the track system went bankrupt a few years ago, and so Van Scyoc had to search for another company to make it. He contacted Central Plastics out of McPherson, who agreed to make the track.

"They made molds for what we wanted," said Van Scyoc. "When we need product we call."

Hoisington makes a substantial order each time, and currently have some inventory left from three years ago, their last order.

From small beginnings come big things, and Van Scyoc likes the newer system even better. "The plastic is more durable," he said.

Residents also found the spirit of the season and have put the lights on their houses. The whole system costs about 85 cents per foot.

Other communities have seen the lights, and have purchased the track system from Hoisington, including Great Bend. Great Bend purchased several thousand feet.

However, the Hoisington system is beginning to show its age, and some of the track is beginning to crack and need replacement. The chamber is once again raising money for Christmas lights.

Van Scyoc estimates the group will need to raise about $7,500 to purchase new strands of lights and other supplies to replace the existing lights in downtown. A little over $3000 has been raised thus far.

"We are grateful for that, but we know we’re going to need more," said Chamber of Commerce Director Stacey Bressler.

Anyone interested in donating to the Christmas Lighting fund should send donations to the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce in care of the Christmas Light Fund. Donations can be mailed or dropped off at the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce office, 123 N, Main, Hoisington, KS 67544.

 


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