Saturday, October 31, 2020
These impressive Belgian draft horses and a table full of S 'mores offer a tiny sample of what Tomah Holiday Lights adds to the Tomah holiday season. Eddie Doyle, the owner of Doyle's Belgians, Wilton hangs onto the reins until while passengers load into the wagon hitched behind. The S 'mores are prepared in the Winnebago Park shelter. Contributed photos

Tomah Holiday Lights looks to continue momentum

It's the age-old adage, what goes up must come down.

That is the case for the Tomah Holiday lights displays at Winnebago Park. Organizers of the light display are extending an open invite to those with a little time and ambition to help grow the display in future years. 

But they also want to extend thanks on the front end to those who helped set up displays and those who took time to walk or drive through Winnebago Park this past holiday season to enjoy all the displays. Also, to those who donated food items for the Neighbor For Neighbor food pantry.

Mary Jo Hill is one of the many volunteers who assists getting the lights strung and displays erected prior the holiday season. But Hill readily concedes she is hoping that volunteer base expands to solidify the display's future.

"Tomah Holiday Lights is in desperate need of individuals who would assist the committee by being a board member, a set-up crew member, a “fix-it” member, a planning member or a computer program enthusiast (for the light show)," Hill said.  

Tomah Holiday Lights dates back to 2003 and its start by the Tomah Rotary Club. Now Tomah Holiday Lights is its own 501c non-profit. 

"Its purpose is to create a drive or walk around holiday light display for the community to simply enjoy," Hill said. 

But it's more when considering economic development, volunteer opportunities, community development, food pantry collection and donations to other non-profits and clubs. The yearly budget is based strictly on generous donations of individuals and or businesses that would like to see the Holiday Lights grow and continue.  

Once again this year Doyle’s Belgians and Wagon Rides was a popular attraction.  There were live reindeer. S 'mores around a warm fire in the fireplace were a big hit.  

Dancing polar bears and penguins with the big lighted tree show were visual highlights.  

"A walk or drive through Winnebago Park in December with thousands of lights, a visit with Santa, was a must do for all ages," Hill said. "Many volunteers experienced the feel-good part of giving to the community, by collecting food and donations throughout the month."

For anyone interested, meetings are held four times a year.  Set up of the light display starts the first weekend in October. 'Fix-up' is held as needed. Individuals or groups are encouraged to make this community event continue.  

"We do not want this event fall to the wayside because of lack of volunteers," Hill said.

For more information email president: Deb Reid holidaylightstomah@gmail.com.  or Mary Jo Hill maryjo@wifirstchoicerealty.com.

And in reference to the earlier age-old adage, take down of the lights is scheduled for Saturday Feb. 29 at 9:30 a.m. in Winnebago Park. All hands are welcome.

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