Bartonville Christmas in the park is back

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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PEORIA (WEEK) - It started with a wish, to see a park that sat in the center of a small town, all lit up for Christmas.

“This was Derek’s idea; he really wanted to get lights and happiness brought into the park,” Chairperson of the Village of Bartonville Park Committee Heidi Rhea said.

3 years ago Derek Roemer and Heather Robinson thought that Alpha Park needed some light, so they decorated a few trees. The next year they got 50 trees and community support. In 2021, 200 Christmas trees were lit up and decorated by the community to show Christmas spirit.

“Look at this, it’s just incredible that a small amount of people could organize this,” Rhea said as she described the park.

In 2020, ‘Christmas in the Park’ was turned into a drive-by, because it worked out, it’s was added to the two-day, opening event.

Trees were sponsored by community members and then decorated as they liked it.

“I’ve always enjoyed Christmas and Christmas lights. I go to the festival of lights every year,” Roemer said. “If these other communities can do it what can we do for our community.”

Opening night was a drive by, families got hot chocolate and popcorn as they saw the lights

Saturday the fun continued with an interactive night.

Families could take pictures with Santa, write him a letter, and make reindeer treats.

Roemer said the lights were the most exciting for him and he waited until the last moment to enjoy them with the community.

“I did not want to light all of the trees together, until tonight because I wanted to be just as surprised,” Roemer said.

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