Winter Wonderland of Lights opens

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 29, 2004

ASHLAND, Ky - It is a ritual of the holiday season: Thousands of twinkling lights of various colors illuminating the grounds of Ashland's Central Park.

The 16th annual Winter Wonderland of Lights was officially opened Monday evening.

WSAZ television news anchor Rob Johnson hailed the festival as "award-winning" and praised it as one "known throughout Kentucky."

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This year four new displays are in this year's lineup, according to Winter Wonderland of Lights committee chairperson Tyna Wright: old man winter blows a blue smoke across the lawn near the Ashland-Boyd County Public Library; an American flag with fireworks decorates the tennis courts; a large, colorful rocking horse is perched at the corner of 22nd Street and Central Avenue; and an elf feeds a reindeer near the corner of 22nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

Wright said the festival is well worth the hard work put into it every year. "I've been with this 15 years and it's been a rewarding experience," Wright said. "Having the kids come in, watching them come to see Santa Claus, it's just rewarding. I really enjoy it."

Ashland native Brandon Webb, now a professional baseball pitcher with the Arizona Diamondbacks flipped the switch that turned on the lights. Santa Claus made his appearance at the end of the ceremony. The festival continues for the next six weeks. The Winter Wonderland of Lights is sponsored by the Ashland Alliance.