Christmas Is Canceled

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 4:01pm

Dickinson, North Dakota votes to do away with annual Christmas parade and light display.

Dickinson, North Dakota's "Christmas in Prairie Outpost Park" light display has been a part of the holiday season for more than ten years, but that's about to change.

The walkways are bare and the eves of the buildings in Prairie Outpost Park are not decorated because organizers have canceled the event.

"We made a decision this year, the City, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Parks and Recreation District to take the year off," said James Kramer, Director of Parks and Recreation.

The three departments have been hosting the event using volunteers and donations to keep it running.

The light display was never in any of the budgets, and that lead to issues when it came to staffing and funding.

Declining interest also played a factor.

"Each year it kind of just got less and less. Less people were involved, less financial support, less volunteers and that type of thing," said Kramer.

Organizers are hoping that groups in the community will opt to carry on the tradition, but say for now the lights are packed away and won't be taken out in the future.

"Were looking forward to someone else taking a look at this and saying this is a project that our group wants to take on as a community Project," said Terri Thiel, Executive Director of the Dickinson Convention and Visitors bureau.

The Parade of Lights which once contributed to the displays at the park has also seen a decline in interest which has forced them to cancel their parade and make it a light display at the mall.

"The Parade Floats won't be going downtown like they normally would but what were doing now is the parade floats will still be up there they will just be parked along the east side of the mall parking lot," said Lexi Sebastian, Executive Director of Dickinson Chamber.

Residents will have to be quick to catch the parade of lights display because it will only be open from 5 to 7 pm this Friday.

Prairie Outpost Park will have lights around their heritage pavilion this year, but nothing like the lights that have been up in the past.

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