Light display creates unity

Published 9:42 am Friday, November 13, 2009

If ever an organization completely and fully lived up to its name, it would have to be the Coal Grove Betterment Club.

The volunteer organization continues to make a difference in its community and the entire region.

Looking for proof? You won’t have to wait long or look too hard. Just glance up at Paul Porter Park on any night after Thanksgiving and you will be shone the light — Christmas lights that is.

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The civic group has partnered with the village to put up Christmas decorations in Paul Porter Park again this year. The popular attraction is celebrating its 20th year of shining bright.

Starting with just a few decorations, the display now features a life-sized Nativity, Christmas trees and a sleigh pulled by reindeer, just to name a few. This year they have also added to the attraction with some new additions including a snowman, a dog and doghouse and some toy soldiers.

Members of the Betterment Club, other civic-minded individuals and workers from the Ironton Municipal Court’s community service program have been running cords and getting everything set up.

The display will hopefully be lit at dusk on Thanksgiving night. The Coal Grove Christmas Parade is all set for 6 p.m. Dec. 4. Santa will make an appearance and the community is invited to the park afterward for hot cocoa and cookies.

Mayor Larry McDaniel estimated that more than 5,000 carloads of people will visit the park over the next few weeks.

While some would argue that this isn’t needed since Ashland, Ky., has such an expansive display, we would counter that this light display has a small-town, close-knit feel and should be celebrated.

Christmas is often a time for family to come together and renew their bonds. For a month or so every winter, the Coal Grove family grows and it is, in part, because the lights shine the way.