Since 1927, lights and set pieces have been added. Throughout the month of December, over 170,000 tiny bulbs shine softly over the downtown Historic Landmark District.
Charles Solomon, who served as chief electrician for the city, built the original set pieces that stand on the east bank of Cane River-Lake. Later, chief electrician, Winfred Lonadier, added more sets, making a total of 72 (at that time).
The lighting program covers many blocks, plus the riverbank and bridges across Cane River-Lake and reflect into the waters below. Over 28 miles of wiring have gone into the project, which would now cost over $170,000 to replace. In early September, city utility crews begin the arduous task of stringing thousands of lights along the riverbank and city streets. The project requires at least six weeks.
In 1936, Allan Cox and Sam West conceived the idea of adding fireworks, at a cost of $300. Today fireworks are valued at $20,000 and handled by professionals.