Thursday, August 16, 2012

Save the lights!

The Heavener Runestone is one of Oklahoma’s better attractions.

Unfortunately, in the summer of 2011,  the Oklahoma Parks and Recreation washed its hands of the park and six others around the state. The city of Heavener is responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and advertising.

Now, one of the county’s more popular events is in danger of shutting down.

Since 2003, thousands of local and not-so-local residents have visited Wister Lake to drive through the beautiful Christmas Light display on Quarry Island.


It is a great way to bring visitors to the county, who can see a great display and hopefully shop in the county.

Unfortunately, park officials have notified organizers the staff will no longer help in putting up the display or taking it down after the tour ends.

Who is to blame? A person close to the situation says it is split between local and state officials.

Sure, this is more work for the workers at the lake, in addition to their other duties.

But isn’t it worth it?

Think this would happen if it was a park in Oklahoma City? I don’t.

Organizers are hoping to save the display, which they have worked extremely hard to grow each year. Volunteers greet the visitors at the entrance to the display and the guests give donations to help maintain and add more lights.

Some of the lights from last year were never even taken down.

So unless something is changed, if you want to see an excellent Christmas light display, be prepared to travel to Muskogee or some other distant location come December.

If you want to help save the Christmas Lights at Wister Lake, contact the Poteau Chamber of Commerce at (918) 647-9178.

You can also contact the Oklahoma Parks and Recreation Department at (800) 652-6552 or by email at

1 comment:

  1. I bet there are some high school seniors looking for community service points in Poteau, Wister, Howe and Heavener. Some of the local civic groups such as the Kiwanis and Lions Clubs from Poteau and Heavener could come and help. Chamber members from surrounding communities could also lend a hand!