The Festival of Lights archway, located near the south entrance to Simpson Park, will undergo a facelift and remain in the park year-round, due to a 5-0 decision by the Chillicothe City Council on June 24.
The new design was created by Caela Ashford, a 2013 graduate of Chillicothe High School. Ashford submitted her design along with many others to the Festival of Lights Committee and was selected by a group formed by Mayor Chuck Haney. The group inclued representatives of the Chillicothe City Council, Park Board and Festival of Lights Committee.
"We are happy to have the support of the Park Board and the City Council to allow the arch to remain in Simpson Park throughout the year," said Barb Burton, a member of the Festival of Lights Committee. "We commend Caela for her design and believe that it will enhance the south entrance to the park."
According to Burton, the new design will be constructed on panels of Sheet metal and will be powder coated and E coated for durability and low maintenance. The construction will be done by students at Grand River Technical School under the direction of Lee Caughron, welding instructor, who directed the construction of the original arch.
The design incorporates the elements of the new City of Chillicothe logo which will be cut into panels that will be visible on both sides of the arch. The new panels will remain on the arch year round and the lighted holly and berry panels will be placed directly over them during the holiday season.
The construction of the new design has been estimated to cost $2,000, which will be included in the annual fundraising efforts of the Festival of Lights. Plans are for the new design to be completed and installed in 2014.
This year's Festival of Lights, a drive-through display of holiday lights and decorations, will open for the season on Nove. 23 in Simpson Park.