Christmas light show will outshine last year's event

August 30, 2005

By Joe Ford For Messenger-Inquirer

The outside temperature may be in the 90s when you read this, but Daviess County Parks Director Ross Leigh is already making plans for a super 2005 Christmas light show in Panther Creek Park. If you enjoyed the light show last year, you will be even more excited with the one planned this year. The "Let it Snow" display will feature 90 snowflakes on the light poles around the ball diamonds. These lighted, twinkling snowflakes will be spectacular high on the poles and will cost approximately $220 each. Sponsors are needed to make the exhibit a success and recognition will be given for their generosity.

Thanks to the cooperation of Daviess County Judge-Executive Reid Haire and Commissioners Bruce Kunze, Jim Lambert and Mike Riney, activities in the county parks are designed for family fun for local residents. Tell the judge and commissioners that you appreciate what they are doing for all of us.

The Fishing Derby in Panther Creek Park was a success as far as the young fishermen were concerned. A total of 82 young anglers hooked many fish, but the largest was a 14-inch-long bass by Shelbi Jones. Calli Whitmore took the smallest, a 2-inch-long bluegill. Brady Thomas caught the most fish with an impressive 20. Other trophy winners were Triston Stinnett, Cassie Moseley and Brady Huckleberry. The Fishing Derby was part of the Saturday Express-Get Moving Kentucky activities coordinated by the Daviess County Extension Service, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Owensboro Parks Department and Daviess County Parks Department. Teach a child to fish and love the out-of-doors and chances are he/she will never have an interest in experimenting with drugs.

I hooked my very first fish at the age of 5 and my mom fried it for me to eat. It was the best tasting fish that I have ever eaten and also the most memorable catch. From that date until now, I have enjoyed hundreds of hours fishing, mostly because my older brother, Douglas, took time to teach me how to fish.

Melissa Decker called wanting to obtain some land snails for a school project at Newton Parrish School. Aquatic snails or slugs are not suitable for the class. If any of you know a source of land snails, please let me know.

Wesley Acton and W.A. Howard were guests on my television show on Channel 51. These two men had many interesting stories to tell about the Rosenwald School that has been restored in Yellow Creek Park. Howard was a student in the school for some time. Acton didn't attend that institution, but he taught school in the Daviess County system for many years. Rosenwald was a leader in Sears and Roebuck and in his lifetime helped finance 4,500 schools in 15 states. Three (schools) were in Daviess County. To me, he is an example of charity as it should be administered. He never made outright grants. He enabled schools to be constructed by giving matching funds. Many times he donated most of the money, but never all.

Daviess County Parks Maintenance Supervisor Carl Wright was doing some work on his own recently when he witnessed a life and death drama. He disturbed a rabbit and it made a quick dash for some nearby brush. However, an even more alert predator was watching the scene as Wright worked. Seeming to drop from the sky, a redtail hawk struck and carried the cottontail off to nearby woods. Fortunately, if food and cover is available rabbits will always be with us.

Without question, the crowd that attended the July 3 fireworks in Panther Creek Park was the largest ever to attend a single event in the park. Leigh is making plans to better accommodate the approximately 2,400 cars that brought the estimated 9,600 spectators. The spectacular fireworks show in 2006 may not be much larger than the one this year, but he promises it will be as exciting.

Editor's note: Joe Ford is Daviess County naturalist, serving as a consultant and conducting tours at Daviess County parks. Questions may be directed to him by calling 926-8215 or 281-5346.