Scouts want to build Christmas tunnel


BROOKVILLE — Boy Scout Pack 47 wants to build a holiday tunnel for the Christmas in the Park drive-thru event held annually in December at Golden Gate Park.

“We would like to put a tunnel or some arches in at the entrance or the exit,” Pack 47 Scout leader Matt Moler told the park board.

“The first thing is to get permission from the park board to build a tunnel or an arch because last year we had some ideas and we needed to get permission first,” Moler said.

Park board member Loren Wilson asked Moler whether he preferred to build a tunnel at the entrance to the park or the park’s exit.

“The exit would be preferable,” Moler replied.

“There’s room to put a 100-foot long tunnel there,” Moler continued.

Moler said building the tunnel at the exit, however, is contingent on the availability of electricity.

“It’s a long stretch. It’s past the volleyball courts and it’s not close to any of the shelters, so I don’t know where the closet electricity is located,” Moler said.

Park board president Adam Blevins informed Moler there is electricity available at the shelter used by the Brookville Fire Department located near the park’s exit.

“Then that would be doable. This way we could control the lights like we did with the Christmas tree,” Moler said.

Moler noted he didn’t have all the details for the tunnel worked out.

“Sonja (Brookville City Manager Sonja Keaton) had asked for more detail, but I don’t have a lot of detail. I don’t have sketches,” Moler said.

“I will have a conversation with her to make sure we are good there,” Moler said.

Blevins expressed concern with the height of the tunnel.

“If the tunnel or arch isn’t tall enough, somebody is going to catch it with their vehicle,” Blevins said.

“We’re thinking the tunnel has to be at least 13 feet tall so it won’t be an issue for ambulances, fire trucks and garbage trucks. They will be able to enter or exit the park as they normally do,” Moler said.

Moler noted building the tunnel will be an expensive project.

“It’s going to be pretty pricey to do,” Moler said.

“We’re trying to come up with the most economical way to do it for the first couple of years until we get it to what we are envisioning,” Moler continued.

Moler said because of the cost, “we may only build a small section of the tunnel for this year’s event.”

“Maybe we’ll build an arch just to get started with it,” Moler said.

Blevins said the construction of the tunnel “would be phenomenal” as long as it meets the standards Keaton and the city require.

“If the tunnel meets all the necessary criteria, we are all for continuing the growth of the Christmas event,” Blevins said.

In a related matter, Blevins suggested the park board purchase Christmas rope lighting instead of spending money to replace the Christmas inflatables damaged last year by the inclement weather.

“I don’t think us continually buying inflatables is effective. We saw that with the amount of money we spent last year only to have the weather damage many of them,” Blevins said.

Blevins said he thought the rope lighting would look good in the park after he viewed the lights wrapped around trees while observing various Christmas lighting displays in the area last year.

“That’s going to be something for us to decide if it makes sense for us to do because that will require a little bit of an investment since we don’t have the rope lights or the extension cords to do it,” Blevins said.

“If that is something we want to pursue, I can work with Sonja to look more for rope lights and things like that instead of inflatables,” Blevins said.

Both Wilson and park board member Carolyn Haney thought decorating the trees with rope lighting was a good idea.

“I’ve always wanted to put rope lighting around the trees,” Haney said.

Park board member Bonnie Cordes was not present at the meeting.

The annual Christmas in the Park kick-off is Friday, Dec. 1, from from 6-8 p.m. at Golden Gate Park, located at 545 Upper Lewisburg-Salem Road.

After the kick-off event, the park will be open to view the Christmas displays from 6-9 p.m. through Jan. 1, 2024.

Reach Terry Baver at [email protected].

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