2012 Holiday Nights 'N Lights comes to a close

Friday night was the final night for the Holiday Nights â??N Lights lighted display at Greater Ottumwa Park.

The official numbers will be in this week on how many people came out to see the display. Now that is over, volunteers have to take all the decorations down.

The Holiday Nights â??N Lights display started going up in early November when there was no snow in sight. Now after the Holiday Nights â??N Lights season is officially over, the ground is covered in snow and itâ??s cold.

â??Now it's time to be out here when it's cold and you're freezing and Iâ??m freezing and we're trying to put it away,â?? said Chuck Bates, volunteer.

Bates was just one of the many volunteers out in the cold on Saturday to help take down the thousands of lights bulbs that make up the lighted display. But volunteers said it's all worth it.

â??I'm expecting the numbers will be good. Either at what they were last year or slightly above so we've had a good year. Itâ??s become more regional; we've had a lot of visitors from outside many counties and seven or eight different states, so a really worthwhile event,â?? said Terry McNitt, Ottumwa Chamber of Commerce Director.

And as volunteers put in their time and effort into making this holiday spectacular come together, they were helping the community in more ways than one.

â??Their hours are credited to whatever charity that they want to give their hours to. So last year we were able to pay out $5 in a half hour for each volunteer hour. Hopefully we can do at least that this year,â?? said Bates.

And even though Holiday Nights â??N Lights is over for the season, it's already time to start thinking about next year.

â??We'll probably decide what we're going to send back, what we're going to move around, what we're going to change this week and then we'll start planning for next year,â?? said McNitt.