By KEN CARPENTER
Great Bend Post
The historic Christmas light display on the water tower in Larned will be lit on Thanksgiving night for the first time in several years. For decades, the lights gave an appearance of a royal crown high above the town during the holiday season.
According to Larned Mayor William Nusser, the display was discontinued because it could no longer be maintained safely.
A campaign to raise $95,000 to restore the display began earlier this year. It reached $110,000 after a matching $30,000 donation from the Glen and Elaine Mull Family Fund at the Golden Belt Community Foundation. Glen and Elaine and two other members of their family died in a plane crash in 2014.
Glen Mull's father Keith will light the display with a symbolic switch at 7 p.m. Mayor Nusser explains why Keith's participation is so important to the Mull family.
"His house was right across the street from the water tower," Nusser noted. "So when he lived there and family would come over for Christmas and holidays, he would tell the grandkids he controlled the lights on the water tower."
The mayor says the new lights are LED and should be significantly brighter than the lights in the original display. He also says a number of activities will take place before and after the lighting.
"We've booked a live reindeer, there's a DJ, barrel-train," Nusser reported. "We'll have Santa and the Santa House there. We're going to do Christmas caroling, hot chocolate/cocoa."
Attendees will gather near Moffett Stadium. The celebration will last from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.