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Shawver Park light display to be taken down after Friday

The controversial Shawver Park light display will officially come down Friday, days before Christmas.

City Representative Eddie Holguin, who spearheaded the project, told KFOX 14 the city managers office just came to him Tuesday to tell him the display would come down Friday.

"I can't speak for city managers office or the parks department, they're the ones that did the contract, they're the ones that chose the company, they're the ones that chose the figurines," Holguin said.

He said it's because no city employees will be working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

We broke the news to several families at Shawver Park this evening.

"Wow that's really disappointing. I thought it was gonna be going at least through the holidays," said Raul Castro, a park visitor.

"Well it's bad. They should leave it up longer so the kids can come see the park because there are few that are like this," said Ruben Ramos, another park visitor.

As KFOX 14 reported, the lights have caused quite an uproar since they were lit up the day after Thanksgiving.

After the city allotted $25,000 for the project, critics came out saying this display did not look like all that money was spent on it.

Only a little more than $11,000 was actually used on lights though, the rest went to security and other parts of the project.

Holguin told KFOX 14 Wednesday they only used $20,000 total and have raised $15,000 to offset costs.

"It was a great public/private partnership that went on here. It should serve as an example for a lot of projects that the city does," Holguin said.

When KFOX 14 first interviewed Holguin a few weeks back, he said the display would be up for 35 days.

"You know, I would have loved to have had a say in all of those decisions but unfortunately the city managers office and the parks department didn't allow me to participate in those decisions," Holguin said.

Holguin said he hopes to continue to grow the project in years to come and despite criticism, considers it a success.

"I mean, it's well spent. If families can get together and come out here, I mean the weathers great, then I'm all for it," Castro said.

A group will perform Christmas carols at Shawver Park Friday at 5 p.m. on the final viewing day.

 

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