A holiday tradition is returning for its 20th year in New Castle.

Cascade Park will once again be the host of the Cascade of Lights drive-through display. The cost is $5 per car.

"Every dime we make goes back into the account," Brian Heichel said Tuesday afternoon as city workers Jeff Rich and Don Cade worked to hang the last display. "It's self-sustaining."

Heichel, the assistant public works director and parks and recreation director, is in his 10th year of setting up for the annual event. He said each year thousands of people drive through the park, including many from out of town, out of state and those visiting family for the holidays.

"For New Castle, for what it costs, you can't beat it," Heichel said as Rich used a bucket truck to put up the last display.

More than 100 displays are placed around the park, while lights are currently hung around the park with more on to be strung up. Patrons will have the chance to see a display of Santa and his reindeer situated over Big Run Falls, while the ticket booth at the park's entrance will be decorated with a Marvel superhero theme.

"We added, I think, five new displays this year," Heichel said, adding he and his other parks and recreation workers rotate the displays to different parts of the park each year.

The park will be open for cars to drive through and see the lights from 5:30 until 9 p.m. starting on Thursday until Monday, Dec. 2. The park will then be lit up Dec. 5-8, Dec. 12-15, Dec. 19-23 and Dec. 26-30. The park will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas and the last day will be Monday, Dec. 30.

Santa Claus will also make his return to the park and will pose for free pictures from 6 to 9 p.m. on three Saturdays — Dec. 7, Dec. 14 and Dec. 21. Santa's visits are sponsored by Nick's Auto Body of New Castle, which will provide the photos, hot chocolate and cookies.

Heichel said the event is also an opportunity for people to visit the park and see everything it has to offer, including waterfalls, trails, bocce courts, permanent cornhole setups and a new playground.

"I guarantee a lot of people in the city don't know what we have to offer," Heichel said. "There's something for everyone."


Digital editor

Pete Sirianni is the News' digital editor. Previously, he worked at The Bradford (Pa.) Era. Sirianni is a 2016 IUP graduate, earning a degree in journalism and public relations. Contact him at psirianni@ncnewsonline.com or on Twitter at @PeterSirianni.

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