Bowling Green turns on Chri

Katie Brandenburg

The countdown began as the crowd anticipated the illumination of Christmas lights throughout downtown Bowling Green.

Trees with long bare branches that hung over the crowd were the first to start to glow. Then the stone archway to the square was lit. Finally the strands of lights that decorated the square’s fountain lit up, reflecting in the fountain’s still water.

People cheered. Many bundled up in warm clothes and came with their families to see Light Up Bowling Green.

It took Bowling Green Parks and Recreation about 10 weeks to prepare for the event, park arborist Jared Weaver said.

One of the biggest attractions was the stage, set up by Standing Stone Ministries. Several choirs and performers entertained the crowd throughout the night, singing Christmas carols and presenting Christmas skits.

The host of the night for the Standing Stone Ministries stage was Robin Baldwin. This was the third year that they’ve had the performance stage at Light Up Bowling Green.

“I saw that there was a real need to bring music and stage events for both children and adults,” Baldwin said.

Some of the performers included Western choral groups, Greenwood High School choral groups, Bobby Baldwin, Jeff Lancaster and Wyatt Rossell.

Wyatt Rossell is a junior in the music department at Western and plays classical guitar. He performed Christmas tunes with Bobby Baldwin and Jeff Lancaster. Rossell said he enjoyed playing for the crowd at Light up Bowling Green.

“It brings the community together and it lets performers showcase their talent,” he said.

Glasgow junior Ellen Murrey sang with a Western student entrepreneurship group called ‘Take Note.” She said this was the first year the group sang at Light Up Bowling Green and she was very excited for the event.

“I’m a Christmas fiend,” Murrey said. “Singing Christmas carols are the best.”

People mingled around the square where free hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies were handed out. People also went into the local shops to get warm and look around.

Helen Hopper-Hirst, co-owner of The Pots Store on Main Avenue, said the event gets people to experience the beauty and uniqueness of downtown, and it helps business too.

“You’ll have someone come in and say ‘Wow, I’ve never been here, but I’ll be coming back,’” she said.

Bob Brigl, a resident potter at the store said he enjoys Light Up Bowling Green because it’s something the entire family can do together.

“It’s a great family event,” he said. “It’s a good kick off for Christmas.”