GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis in Lights is gearing up for the holiday season by hosting a community light ball building event at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at Courtside Bar and Grill on Second Avenue.
According to Gallipolis in Lights members Shari and Angie Rocchi, the community will be guided through a workshop and encouraged on how to create light balls out of chicken wire that will then be hung in Gallipolis City Park to decorate in the holiday festivities. The Stringbenders, a local band focused on playing classic rock and country songs, will perform at the workshop.
“Throughout the year, we do the electric run 5K race to provide funds, we sell ornaments and have a holiday gala event,” said Gallipolis in Lights member Russ Moore. “They are all connected to raise funds for the purchasing of the lights for (Gallipolis City Park). Every year, those big trees are sponsored by someone for a $1,000 donation or a $500 donation. They get a sign in front of one of the trees filled with lighted balls.”
Moore also said individuals could put forward money to memorialized lost loved ones.
Moore said this would be the organization’s third year putting lights up in the park. He said the group’s goal has always been to “enhance” the event as it decorates the park for the holiday season. He also said the group had recently spent money on a sound system to be equipped in the park after the light balls had been hung so visitors could enjoy holiday music as they strolled through the park in the evenings to enjoy seasonal flare.
Moore said members of the group in the past had pooled funds and volunteers to create a “Santa House” after the previous one had fallen into disrepair from prior years’ use.
According to Moore, Gallipolis in Lights has been continually putting light balls in City Park since the 2013 holiday season. Shari Rocchi and Lance Clifford are credited with starting the lighting event by spreading word and questions over social media to gauge interest. Group members were then gathered and individuals started to create light balls out of chicken wire.
“We got the idea from a community in Greensboro, N.C.,” Moore said. “That’s where the idea came from. From the Internet, we were able to get instructions to make the balls out of chicken wire. You cut a certain length and then roll them into a cylinder. You zip tie it together and bolt in the tops together to get it as close to looking like a globe as possible. Then we string two sets of lights in to the balls. Each set has 50 lights on it.”
Volunteers from the community, as well as the Gallia County Work Release Center, have aided in building the balls in the past.
For more information on ornaments, light balls or getting involved, contact Moore at (740) 645-3243 or email [email protected]
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.