Thursday, October 30, 2008

Behind the Scenes at the Grand Rivers Festival of Lights

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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Meet the Pats

In this tiny community of 350 people, you will find special events and activities all throughout the year. The amazing thing is that most of our events are organized and manned with volunteers. We have a lot of great volunteers in Grand Rivers and topping the list are “the Pats”. The Pats enjoy working together and they make a great team. And, if it is happening in Grand Rivers, chances are the Pats are helping out. Here are the highlights of their 2008 contributions:

In February the Pats organized two events for National Heart Health Month and raised $880 for the American Heart Association. In March they Co-chaired the Chamber hospitality area for the Grand Rivers Ultra Run providing hot food and nutritious snacks for over 300 runners. In April they Co-Chaired the Grand Rivers Quilt Show. In May they organized a fashion show and raised over $500 for the Grand Rivers Chamber Scholarship Fund. In June the Pats volunteered for the Grand Rivers Free Kids Fishing Event. In August they volunteered for the National Marina Day festivities. In September they worked with Kentucky’s Western Waterlands on the Arts and Crafts festival and they raised over $1,400 for the Grand Rivers Chamber in concession sales. In October they Co-Chaired the Hunters Moon Committee, organized the Chamber Silent Auction fundraiser, and organized a breakfast for National Breast cancer awareness month that raised $900 for the American Cancer Society.

Hunters Moon Festival is all wrapped up and now we are getting ready for the Festival of Lights. The Pats (and other volunteers) are going to meet me downtown on the next two Saturdays and help with Christmas decorations. The Pats are also busy working on a 2009 Men of Grand Rivers Calendar to raise funds for the Chamber. You may also see them in November and December at the Badgett Playhouse where they volunteer as ushers.

And then in January, they will start over again. Thank goodness for volunteers and thank God for the Pats.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Welcome to Kentucky Lake Views

Welcome to my blog. I work, live, and play in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, the village between the lakes. I love this village and the lakes that surround us. Most of all I love the spirit of the people in this community. We are connected and we are accountable. We laugh, sometimes argue, and always look out for each other just like family. We find our common goals and work toward them. Some of our visitors do have the opportunity to meet our locals and connect with that spirit. For those of you who don’t, this blog is a peek inside our community.