Work was underway Thursday to replace a Waterbury landmark as crews installed a new cross at the Holy Land.
The theme park used to be a major attraction with more than 17 acres filled with biblical villages and displays.
The park also used to feature a large lit up cross that could be seen from the highway. However, the cross had to be replaced with another smaller one in 2008 and lit up by spotlights that eventually broke.
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary and a colleague bought the property for $350,000 with a promise to revamp the Holy Land this summer.
"It's a symbol of hope and peace," said Joe Pisani, who is president of Pisani Steel. "Bringing it back to Waterbury, to experience what we experienced when we were growing up."
Local companies joined forces to donate the structure and materials, engineering, and electrical work.
"We've never done this before," Pisani said.
On Nov. 1, city officials took down the steel cross to make room for a new one.
Crews said the cross was transported in three pieces on Thursday. The 13 ton, 57 feet tall and 26 feet wide cross was brought the Holy Land property.
Once erected on top of Pine Hill on Friday, the cross will be visible from all angles and lit at night. Lights alone cost nearly $100,000. It has 5,000 LED bulbs.
All of the work and the cross is valued at almost $500,000. It took a month and a half to create, but, the crews all wanted to be a part of the mission that brings back Holy Land.
"My phone hasn't stopped ringing," Pisani said. "I'm getting Christmas calls from all over the world. People wishing us well. We haven't seen this much buzz in Waterbury in a long time. everyone's cheering us on."
On Sunday, there will be a citywide cross lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. following a mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, which is located at 309 South Main St., at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to the event.
For more information about Holy Land, click here or email email@example.com.
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New cross installed at Holy Land in WaterburyMore>>
City officials approved the removal of the cross at the Holy Land in Waterbury Thursday with the promise a new one will be installed before the end of the year.The theme park used to be a major attractionMore >
City officials approved the removal of the cross at the Holy Land in Waterbury Thursday with the promise a new one will be installed before the end of the year.More >