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Holiday lights





CEDAR BLUFF STATE PARK -- Never mind the cold temperatures, children visiting the Holiday Lights display Friday at Cedar Bluff Reservoir weren't about to miss out on the hayrack rides.

So they plopped down on the ground, waiting for the next tractor-pulled trailer to make its way back. Meanwhile, a stream of cars passed through the park to take in the thousands of lights on display.

Absent for the past two years, the light display continues through tonight.

Munching on marshmallows toasted on an open fire were the Pfeifers -- Brandon and Chandra and children Konnor and Kylee, all from Ellis. Brandon Pfeifer said it's his first visit and one they were enjoying.

At the other fire pit, Isaac and Riley Gillespie, did the same. They are the sons of Lafe and Jodi Gillespie, Quinter. Daughter Emma, 2 months old on Thursday, was cradled briefly by Santa Claus so photos could be taken.

"We come out every year," Lafe Gillespie said. "We spend our summers out here."

Visitation was slow Thursday, said Anita Schneider, but it was cold.

"We're hoping to get 700 tonight," she said.

Park Manager Chris Smith was busy directing vehicles into a parking area, and he was expecting brisk traffic Saturday and again tonight.

"I'm expecting a bunch of people," he said. "It will be closer to the holiday. It should be a pretty good gift to come over."

Members of the Diehards Association, a support group for the lake, were busy taking money, reporting 250 visitors by 8 p.m. Friday.

The display is open from dark to 10 p.m. tonight. Cost is $1 per person.