lights

Dozens of displays fill Spring Lake Park for the next month for the Holiday Lights Drive.

Despite the pandemic halting most in-person activities, the Williston Convention and Visitors Bureau and Park and Rec District reported a record year for 2020’s Spring Lake Park Holiday Lights Drive.

The Drive, which began at the end of November and lasted until Dec 31, filled Spring Lake Park with thousands of holiday lights and decorations and featured dozens of COVID-friendly activities for visitors to enjoy. The CVB shared some of their highlights from this year:

34: Total gate nights in 2020, 2 more nights than 2019

7,823: Cars through the park in 2020, averaging 3 to 4 people per car. 2019 saw 5,724 cars visit the park. That equates to 23,000 to 30,000 people going through the park in one month.

600+: number of free books distributed by the Williston Community Library Foundation

450+: Gift certificates donated by Williston Community Builders and the Great Plains Women’s Health Clinic

234,000: coupons for local businesses passed out

28: Organizations benefited from the gate. Local non-profits received half of Park’s gate profits for the night.

9,600+: Batteries used for luminaries throughout the whole month

15: activity nights, where 3,700 free activities were given away for families to do at home

1,500+: hours in Parks and Rec set up and tear down starting in October, including volunteers at the events.

900+: hours in CVB planning, set up and tear down.

8: selfie booths throughout the park installed in 2020

The CVB said the event would not have been possible without the numerous volunteers who gave their time, saying the amount of volunteers was “countless.”

“Volunteers this year were amazing!” said Ashley Oyloe, CVB event coordinator. “We are beyond thankful for the Williston Teton Volleyball team who came to put our luminaries each Sunday evening and then came back at 6 a.m. the next morning to pick them up for us at the beginning of the month!”

Volunteers came from local businesses and organizations including Liberty Oilfield Services, MWEC, Tae Kwon Do, Meadowlark Girl Scouts, FCCLA, Verizon BeMobile Wireless, First State Bank and Trust, Unify Home Lending, Ironhide Bobcat, Purity Oilfield Services, and Triangle Electric.

And to cap off the 2020 season, TNT Fireworks donated thousands of dollars in fireworks to the parks New Year’s Eve Eve celebration, with owner Terry Gaudreau saying he “couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than out at the park.” Oyloe said the CVB and Parks department will take many of the lessons they learned in 2020 and apply them to the next year, incorporating many of the popular COVID-friendly attractions into the regular programming.

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