CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Coonskin Park's annual Holiday Lights display will open at dusk Saturday and run through Dec. 31, Kanawha County parks officials said."I just love children, and this is the time of year for them," said County Commissioner Hoppy Shores, the commission's representative on the county Parks and Recreation Commission.County parks director Jeff Hutchinson said the holiday light display usually opens the day after Thanksgiving, but cleanup efforts from the summer's derecho windstorm and a recent snowstorm delayed installing the thousands of lights that make up the displays. He said the displays will be open to the public the same number of days as in recent years, though, because Thanksgiving fell a week early this year."Even by opening on Saturday, we still have 31 show nights," Hutchinson said. The lights display will be open from dusk to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.The display is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted to help defray costs and to support the parks system. Several local civic organizations that are helping with the event are also accepting donations.
Two special events are scheduled in conjunction with the annual light display.Kanawha County commissioners Kent Carper, Dave Hardy and Shores will light the official Kanawha County Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Wednesday near the Coonskin Family Center.Santa is also scheduled to visit the park from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14-16. Miniature train rides on Hoppy's Little Express will be offered from 5:30 to 9 p.m. the same days.For more information, call 3040341-8000.Reach Rusty Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1215.