Dis­play re­worked at park

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - NEWS - SCOTT DUNN

The In­fin­ity Tun­nel has been mod­i­fied and re­assem­bled just in time for Fes­ti­val in the Park this week­end in Har­ri­son Park.

The 30.5-me­tre-long by 3.5-me­tre-high par­al­lel walls of light greet vis­i­tors to Har­ri­son Park, just past the Owen Sound Fes­ti­val of North­ern Lights’ kiosk, from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly un­til the close of the lights fes­ti­val Jan. 6.

Con­structed of plas­tic pipe, the orig­i­nal dis­play fea­tured a roof struc­ture which col­lapsed the day be­fore the open­ing the fes­ti­val on Nov. 17, forc­ing a re­design. It was in­tended to be the fes­ti­val’s new, sig­na­ture dis­play.

Now two walls of lights are set on ei­ther side of the road.

Lights fes­ti­val chair Jamie Walpole said he’s feel­ing “ab­so­lutely great” about the In­fin­ity Tun­nel now. “It was a lot of hard work and it re­ally showed the spirit of our vol­un­teers and our board to re­cover from some­thing that was hard.”

The light show has been ad­justed to limit the de­gree of flash­ing af­ter some­one raised con­cern about the strobe ef­fect trig­ger­ing mi­graines, Walpole noted.

Com­puter-con­trolled lights flash in a va­ri­ety of se­quences while Christ­mas mu­sic plays on an out­door speaker and is broad­cast on FM 107.9.

The event to­day in the park is billed as a “fam­ily fun event” with wagon rides to Santa’s cot­tage, cookie dec­o­rat­ing with Mrs. Claus, face paint­ing, crafts, a pet­ting zoo, pony rides, games, fire trucks, and hot dogs and chili.

It will take place from 11 a.m. un­til 4 p.m.

Walpole de­cided not to sync the lights to the mu­sic as ini­tially planned be­cause dur­ing test­ing, peo­ple were stop­ping on the oneway road for a few min­utes to watch the lights un­til the song ended.

There are other lighted dis­plays in the park and he said maybe in fu­ture a light dis­play could be tied to Christ­mas mu­sic, per­haps by the di­nosaur light dis­plays far­ther into the park.

Walpole said peo­ple con­tinue to ask why the In­fin­ity Tun­nel’s roof struc­ture col­lapsed. He said he doesn’t know but there was van­dal­ism to other dis­plays that night and the next night.

“That night, seven ex­ten­sion, eight cords were cut. There’s a Christ­mas dis­play over there, they had van­dal­ism; some cords cut, some­body climbed up the wooden struc­ture and stole the speaker, all that cou­ple of days,” he said.

“And then Satur­day morn­ing be­fore the fes­ti­val opened, I had to fish out four dis­plays out of the river there.” They were from a Santa Claus pa­rade dis­play, where the Santa had been bent over and other char­ac­ters were put in the river.

Po­lice have stepped up their passes through Har­ri­son Park and around the down­town dis­plays, Walpole said. There has been no more van­dal­ism, he said.

SCOTT DUNN/THE SUN TIMES

The In­fin­ity Tun­nel opened Thurs­day night in Har­ri­son Park, af­ter the orig­i­nal de­sign which fea­tured an over­head struc­ture col­lapsed just be­fore the open­ing of the Owen Sound Fes­ti­val of North­ern Lights on Nov. 17. From left are fes­ti­val chair Jamie Walpole, fes­ti­val board mem­ber Kerri Walpole, vol­un­teers Linda Miller and Steve Kel­lener (be­hind), Everett Bov­ing­don, 7, son of Tom Bov­ing­don, owner of dis­play spon­sor In­fin­ity Net­work Solutions, Bov­ing­don's daugh­ter Madeleine, 11, board mem­ber San­dra McCal­lum, with daugh­ter Amelia Lovell (in car­riage), and Heather Gillis, fes­ti­val ad­min­is­tra­tor.

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