Union electricians help light up The Grotto Festival of Lights

grotto groupThirty volunteers from IBEW Local 48 spent Saturday, Oct. 22, helping set up the temporary power for The Grotto’s Festival of Lights. In the past, the displays have consisted of 500,000 lights. This year, the festival switched to LEDs, boosting the light count to more than 1 million.

Local 48 and their employers at the National Electrical Contractors Association have been involved with the distribution of power for the Festival of Lights since its inception in 1988. That first year the festival ran for just 10 nights with approximately 60,000 lights. It now runs from the day after Thanksgiving through Dec. 30.

The Grotto says its Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. It features nearly 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by school, church and civic choirs. The festival also has a petting zoo for children, and holiday foods and beverages.

More than 55,000 people visit the festival each year. The festival runs nightly from 5 to 9:30 p.m. through Dec. 30 (closed Christmas Day). Cost is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors 65 and over, and military personnel, $6 for kids ages 3 to 12, and free for children 2 and under. Visitors are encouraged to bring a donation of canned or dry food benefitting Snow-Cap, the East county’s affiliate of the Oregon Food Bank. Parking is free.

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