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Hartwood Acres Celebration of Lights Canceled

Due to increasing costs and declining sponsorship, Allegheny County will not hold the Celebration of Lights at Hartwood Acres this year. Canceled

The holiday season will lack a bit of light in Pittsburgh this year.

Allegheny County officials said Monday that the annual Celebration of Lights at Hartwood Acres Park will be suspended this year. Increasing costs and declining sponsorships, particularly in light of the county's limited financial resources, are to blame.

“This is not a decision that we made lightly. The Celebration of Lights has been a great holiday tradition since 1991. We have been proud to partner with the Salvation Army and WTAE TV 4 for the past twenty years on this and are gratified that we have helped to generate $3.7 million in revenues for Project Bundle-Up and other local charities during that time,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, in a statement released Monday. “The cost to operate the event has increased year after year, and unfortunately, sponsorships have declined. Last year, taxpayers had to cover most of the Celebration of Lights’ $1.5 million cost. With the county’s limited financial resources, it is just not something that we are able to continue offering.”

The Celebration of Lights began in 1991 with 28 displays and 250,000 lights. In 2011, more than two million lights were part of the three-mile drive, which drew 170,000 visitors and generated $160,000 for charity.

“We also recognize that this decision is going to have an impact upon WTAE Project Bundle UP & Salvation Army. My administration is committed to doing anything we can do to help them offset that loss and we look forward to partnering with them to meet their mission of providing new winter outwear for disadvantaged children and seniors across Western Pennsylvania,” said Fitzgerald.

This story originally appeared on Dormont-Brookline Patch

MD September 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM
I bet the county could use the 11+ millions they had to spend on the reassessment ! Which by the way is a COMPLETE JOKE>>>>>> Way to go state supreme court,how about all the shell tax ?
Joe Maryanski December 16, 2012 at 03:30 AM
We were very disappointed to find hartwood lights were cancelled. We attended Clinton, PA's Celebration of lights and found it to be a viable alternative. Interestingly, clinton's display is a 20 year old privatly run display, proving that no one in gov't could run a for profit business, let alone a worthy charitable event. Once the gov't drones are removed, hartwood could once again thrive, either at that location or another suitable spot. Dam shame for 2012 though.

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