Lights on Island begins Friday

One of many displays from the 2017 Lights on the Island.
News Reporter

Tonight, Nov. 16, 2018, will mark opening night for LeFlore County’s largest Christmas light display.

Wister Lake Lights on the Island will run 6-9 p.m. nightly through Christmas.

Twelve new displays will join the hundreds that will adorn the grounds of Wister Lake's Quarry Island.

In addition to the 30-foot Statue of Liberty, giant American flag and popular large section of dinosaurs, the new lights will include a happy birthday Jesus, santa’s baseball team, a sea monster, an elf kissing a reindeer and much more.

The displays are made possible each year by private and business donations and volunteer donations at the gate each night. More than $4,000 was dedicated to the light display from gate donations alone.

The lights received a facelift from a few volunteers under the direction of Bob and Donella Hawley. The Hawleys have taken this project on for the last four years and work on the light displays throughout the year, Karen Wages, Poteau Chamber of Commerce CEO, said.

The lights were started by former state Sen. Kenneth Corn in cooperation with Poteau Chamber, Bonnie Prigmore and then-Park Superintendent Rick Sanders after receiving some unused displays from Lake Texoma State Park. The display was designed to keep activities going and attract visitors to the park during the slow winter months.

"We have seen some harsh winds, flooding, heavy ice storms and frozen displays, times of experienced electrical problems, loss of support, but nonetheless, a small group has pushed forward each year making it a huge success for people of all ages. This year we can’t wait to see it even brighter than ever," Wages said.

The nights are filled with volunteers who give of their holiday time to work the front gate greeting visitors and handing out candy canes.

If you would like to volunteer, contact the Chamber at (918) 647-9178.

"Year after year visitors have made the light display a part of their annual tradition bringing local families and many visitors from other states," Wages said.