A holiday lights show - including a cosmic Christmas tree - was launched Monday night on Lewisburg's public square, where the east side of Marshall County's courthouse serves as the backdrop for the display.
Several members of Marshall County Chamber of Commerce saw the first show after the Chamber's annual Christmas dinner. Some children didn't want to leave the square that night, preferring to see the show again and again.
Constructed by Edward Potts, Tony Hudson, Wendell Griffy and Jack Cathey, the display is a gift to the community by Ed and Lynda Potts in memory of her parents, the late Caloway and Jean Crunk, who loved Christmas lights. Their home was always well decorated for Christmas.
The Potts got the idea for their gift to the community last Christmas after they saw the light show at Nathan Hill's home off Coble Meadows Drive. This spring, during Wyoming Assessment Team focus groups, revitalization of the public square was repeatedly mentioned as worthwhile. As a result, Lynda Potts started talking about the possibility of a Christmas light show to draw people to downtown Lewisburg.
The show has been running daily, starting at 5 p.m. It continues into the night and will continue through the holidays.
Its centerpiece is a 20-foot cosmic ribbon Christmas tree, located at the top of the steps on the east side of the courthouse. The tree has 12 16-foot strands made of 150 light-emitting diodes. Each strand of lights is operated by its own controller, which allows the lights to dance, blink and flash as programmed.
The star on top of the tree, the Santa sleigh with reindeer, bells, a happy holidays sign, and gingerbread house were fabricated by Griffy in his welding shop. He and his wife, Patsy, had been using those decorations at their home.
Jack Cathey, an information technology expert and owner of his MegaWatts Communications business, "is the computer guru who has synchronized the tree with the other lights and the music," Lynda Potts said.
"The controllers, cosmic ribbon and associated licenses were purchased from Light-O-Rama," she said.
That company's product is also being used by Hill, the telephone company employee whose show inspired the Potts to provide the show on the square. Hill's show is presented this year to benefit the Connelly Dream Center, the subject of another story in today's Tribune.
Marshall County tourism advocates encouraged the Potts' project, which was sanctioned by the Marshall County Commission's Building Committee. Other local leaders lending support for the display include Marshall County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett, Lewisburg Mayor Barbara Woods, Chamber Executive Director Ritaanne Weaver, Mike Wiles, executive director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board, the Rev. Leland Carden, president of the Lewisburg Downtown Alliance, South Central Tourism Association Executive Director Renae Lance, and Lisa Jackson, a community volunteer.