Light display brings joy, economic boost to city

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - As it gets closer to Christmas, more families will spend time driving around and looking at light displays.

The city of Batesville benefits from their large display in Riverside Park every year.

"It's just kind of a feel-good thing for our community," Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said. "It gets everybody in the Christmas spirit."

It doesn't just bring joy to the community, though. It also has a large economic boost for the town.

The large, free light displays brought more than 40,000 cars to the park last year.

"One of our local restaurant owners had mentioned, he said, 'let me know when the Christmas lights are going to be turned on because my drive through traffic doubles,'" Mayor Elumbaugh said. "So that's a good thing for our community. If we do have an economic impact and the individuals come out and they enjoy the lights, it's all worth it."

The mayor said the attraction grows every year, with more displays being added.

There is an also a synthetic ice skating rink sponsored by First Community Bank and carriage rides through the park for an additional fee.

This year, the city began taking donations for the light show.

"We were encouraged by our civic clubs that they would come out here and they would stand for donations," Elumbaugh said.

Batesville Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Owens said they raised about $3,000 last week in donations.

The mayor said everything collected will go back into making the light display even bigger and better.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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