Written by: Eric Heinrich, December 2013
South Park residents are at it again: Christmas lights from individual collections adorn the trees at the South Park Green. The lighting display is intended to illuminate one northern boarder of the neighborhood through at least New Year’s Day.
So why the “Northern Lights”?
The catalyst for this venture was the result of simple “what if?” questions asked over beers between friends at the South Park Tavern and a large quantity of lights sitting in boxes from previous years that would have gone unused without this opportunity. While more lighting was originally planned for the display, timing and weather have unfortunately limited the scope of what could be accomplished. In the end, we wanted to bring a little bit of joy and allow more people to enjoy our beautiful parks in the winter.
In looking for a location that would also help draw in others from the greater Dayton community, one initial thought was to light up the boulevard of trees along Burns Ave. which intersects Warren Street because it boasts a significant green space down several blocks. Lack of electrical logistics prevented us from pursuing it further. The Park Green provided us ample trees and a great visibility and is often a location of sledding during the winter months. There are all these nooks in our neighborhoods near downtown that hide great works of art, holiday displays, gorgeous homes, and friendly neighbors that many people in this city don’t often know about. If the lights can at least be seen from the downtown and the highway traffic, then we’ve done our part encourage the greater Dayton community to enjoy our neighborhood and see it as vibrant as the residents see it.
Whether it is residents out walking their dogs in the evening, children sledding down the hill on snow days, or passers-by that get caught up in the awe of the lights, we would like everyone to be able to enjoy the lights on one of our city’s great green spaces.
The South Park neighborhood south of Dayton’s central business district is a community of over 700 residential structures with residents of all ages and boasts numerous parks and green spaces intermingled among the housing. Residents have been known to host a myriad of outdoor events ranging from locally produced Shakespeare in the Park, the Children’s Halloween Parade on Park Drive boulevard, and summer neighborhood parties to take advantage of these natural amenities.