Visit Grand Rivers from mid-November through December and you will witness the splendor of the Holiday Festival of Lights. It is pure magic. Ever wonder what it takes to make the magic?
For Patti’s 1880’s Settlement employees, the work starts in September. Patti’s has five fulltime employees on grounds crew, plus two fulltime decorators indoors. The Patti’s staff starts by reviewing the inventory of lights and decorations, planning out the displays and new purchases, and then organizing the work.
The crew checks over 70,000 strands of lights and 10,000 decorations, replacing bulbs and refurbishing where needed. Owner Mike Tullar plays an active role in organizing the work. He also does the shopping for new lights and displays. The grounds crew hangs all the lights and outdoor displays, while the decorators and retail employees are busy decorating Patti’s Restaurant and stores. Jackson Purchase Electric Cooperative provides a key element; the loan of a bucket truck to hang the higher outdoor decorations. Jackson Purchase is also a financial sponsor for the event.
All together, Patti’s employees spend over 2,500 hours and hang over 500,000 lights and install over 10,000 decorations.
I want to thank Mike and the Tullar family, Ricky, Chris, and all of the employees of Patti’s for creating the magic for thousands of people to enjoy.
This year the Festival of Lights kicks off on Friday, November 14. It is one of my favorite nights of the year in Grand Rivers. Eternal Vision, a gospel singing group will be performing. The festivities will begin about 5:30pm. Santa Claus and his elves will be there. The lights will be turned on at dusk and the Festival of Lights show will continue through the first week of January, 2009.