Posted: Nov 14, 2023 9:03 AMUpdated: Nov 14, 2023 9:03 AM

Fantasy Land of Lights

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Tom Davis
The Bartlesville Daybreak Rotary's Fantasy Land of Lights is an annual, drive-through Christmas light display at Johnstone Park that has become a holiday tradition in Bartlesville and is the premiere project of Daybreak Rotary. With the help of generous donations from the public, Fantasy Land of Lights continues to grow each year. Be sure to visit so you can see what is new this year!
Fantasy Land of Lights takes the work of all of our members in the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving to create and is manned by dedicated volunteers from here in Bartlesville at the Gingerbread House from November 20 - December 30, every year.  (Oh, and we take it all down in January so the City can re-open the park!   Weather watching is the name of the game October - January.)
Although there is no admission fee, a donation is accepted. Once the expenses are paid, money is set aside to purchase or repair displays and a budgeted amount goes into the Club’s Foundation to cover educational scholarships to students in the Washington County area.  Without our wonderful Bartlesville community, our university and vocational scholarships would not happen!
Daybreak Rotary took on Fantasy Land of Lights in 2002.  Previously it had been managed by the Chamber.   2002 was a tough year to take on the park because all the lights had to be redone because in 2001 everything was Red-White-Blue in honor of the 9/11 terrorist attack.  Our Big Elf, Randy Weatherly, was instrumental in this becoming a club project.
In 2003, we got our Rotary wheel that we display proudly near the entrance to the Park.  Rotarian Gretchen Winger got her dad and uncle to build it for us!   It may no longer be the Rotary standard, but it is near and dear to our hearts and reflects our history!
A new event on November 19 was started in 2019 called Fantasy  Land on Foot.   President Pam Crawford spear-headed the effort when we had a ribbon cutting for a new display in memory of our Big Elf Randy, who unexpectedly died during our 2019 season.   (Randy's memorial was to FLOL, and with the memorial, club money, and a District 6110 Grant, we now have an Elf and Wildcat greeting our visitors - Randy was a K-State Alum!)
Fantasy Land on Foot is the only time you can walk the road through the park.  Check our Facebook page for more details.   It is fun!   Strollers and Dogs are invited!  Local businesses help us with food to feed the walkers.   

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