With the stress of another presidential election behind us, area residents can turn our thoughts to more pleasant things. Just in time for that, the annual Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Park in Wheeling has gotten under way.
Continuing through Jan. 6, the festival has become a holiday season tradition for many. With 78 displays, it is one of the largest holiday light shows in the United States.
In addition to erecting a few new displays to go with many old favorites, those in charge of the festival have accomplished something very important this year. For the first time, all the displays use energy-saving LED lights rather than old-style incandescent bulbs.
Oglebay began changing over to the LEDs four years ago, with a goal of going exclusively to them by 2013. The switch has been accomplished a year ahead of schedule.
LEDs use about 85 percent less energy than traditional light bulbs. They have life expectancies about five times as long. Using them simply makes sense, especially in a program such as the Winter Festival of Lights.
Oglebay Park always has been a beautiful place during the holiday season. The Winter Festival of Lights makes the thought of a visit irresistible - and the energy-efficient displays are a tribute to all involved in making the event a multi-colored model of going "green."