Volunteers help with the Holiday Light Fantasia - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Volunteers help with the Holiday Light Fantasia

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Channel 3 Kids Camp Holiday Light Fantasia will be opening later this month; however, organizers of the event said that there is still a lot of work to do before opening.

Last year, thieves damaged displays and stole thousands of feet of copper wiring, chainsaws and other equipment. Organizers had to push the opening back and lost nearly $30,000.

Video cameras were installed and police will be patrolling the park when it opens Nov. 23.

"That set us back a whole week last year so we're really hoping none of that happens this year. So far so good. Everybody's working really hard," said Joan Gurski with the Channel 3 Kids Camp.

This year, some special volunteers are working hard to make sure everything runs smoothly. There are more than 1 million light bulbs and 237 decorative pieces, which make it the biggest Christmas light display in Connecticut.

"We're looking at probably about 300,000 to 400,000 bulbs that are being changed this year," Gurski said.

Every light must turn on in order to make the Channel 3 Kids Camp Holiday Light Fantasia the spectacular sight it is.

"It's a lot of work, but it's going to be worth it," Gurski said.

A group of students from the Farmington Valley Transitional Center, which serves 18- to 20-year-olds with special needs, tested each light display and replaced any broken ones.

"This is an opportunity for them to learn how to communicate with other people, to give back to the community these are all employment skills that people need and our students are hoping to leave our program and go on to employed position," said Gretchen Nelson, who is a supervisor of the Farmington Valley Transition Academy.

In less than two weeks, tens of thousands of cars will pass beneath the lights at Goodwin park. While making sure each bulb works perfectly may be a painstaking task, it's all for a good cause.

Holiday Light Fantasia is the largest fundraiser each year for the Channel 3 Kids Camp.

For more information about the Holiday Light Fantasia, click here.

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