Bentleyville gets new lights, new look
So you think you've got a lot of lights to put out this holiday season? Imagine Bentleyville, where they measure their lights not in feet or yards, but in miles. "We have 5.3 miles of rope light," said Nathan Bentley, founder and mayor of the hol...
So you think you’ve got a lot of lights to put out this holiday season?
Imagine Bentleyville, where they measure their lights not in feet or yards, but in miles.
“We have 5.3 miles of rope light,” said Nathan Bentley, founder and mayor of the holiday village that springs up each year around this time at Bayfront Festival Park. This year’s Bentleyville opens to the public one week from today, at 5 p.m.
But, of course, it doesn’t just spring up. The annual free attraction is the product of countless hours of volunteer labor and a budget that might make even Santa’s head swim. Each year’s budget includes $150,000 for new displays and replacement lights.
“That’s bare minimum,” Bentley said on Friday, as he stood in what will be the gift shop but now is a sort of depot for the lights and other items that have not yet been installed. He displayed rolls of rope lights, all appearing like clear plastic but destined to light up in red, green and blue colors, as well as clear.
“It’s going to have a brand-new look because of this new LED lighting throughout the park,” Bentley said.
Also new this year:
- Paul Bunyan and Babe.
- A new Nativity scene. “We’ve always had a Nativity scene, even when we did Bentleyville at my house, but this year we made it more life-size, and it’s LED (lighting),” Bentley said.
- Split Rock Lighthouse.
- New LED panels on the pavilion. “It’s almost like high-definition snowflakes,” Bentley said.
To get involved
Volunteers still are needed during Bentleyville’s season from Nov. 22 through Dec. 27, Nathan Bentley said. People are needed to serve cookies and popcorn, supervise the fire pits and appear as costumed characters, among other things. Learn more at the Bentleyville website: bentleyvilleusa.org.