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Walkway of Lights brings in $60K

BY Brian Powers - bpowers@chronicle-tribune.com

The City of Marion’s popular holiday light display stands to profit about $20,000 for 2017.

Marion has marked the official end of the holiday season as deconstruction has begun on one of the area’s most popular displays.

According to Rose Cabena of the Parks and Recreation Department, the walkway made approximately $60,000, with half coming from sponsorships and the other half coming from toll booth ticket purchases.

If the final totals are close to last year’s, the city will make around $20,000 after paying the electric bill. Cabena estimates the numbers should be similar to last year’s. 

Taking down the display is a tedious process that relies heavily on the weather. According to the former director of parks and recreation, Belinda Hussong, disassembling the display does not take nearly as long putting it together, though it is still a task that can take a full-time crew three weeks.

“The cords and computers will be put away first in case of any flooding, then the displays,” Hussong said. “There have been years they weren’t able to come down until March or April due to weather conditions.”

The money made from this year’s donations will be used to get a start on next year’s display as well provide half of the fees for a full crew, which is usually paid before work begins, Cabena said.

There have not yet been any official releases as far as attendance for the year, or costs as compared to last year, but they are expected to be released by the middle of the month.