Happiness and cheer were certainly rare in 2020, but the last few weeks of it brought joy to thousands in Black Hawk county, thanks to the conservation department's fundraiser and light show "Holiday Lights at Hickory Hills".

The event at Hickory Hills Park near LaPorte City was $10 per car each time through. It was so successful, raising altogether $57,000 for the Conservation department and its facilities, programs, and services, that the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports new funds could be earmarked in next fiscal year's county budget to make it even better.

At a board of supervisors meeting this week, Black Hawk County Conservation Director Mike Hendrickson proposed an additional $12,000 to the $3,000 already budgeted for the event.

At least one county supervisor was more than ready to sign on after 5,765 patrons enjoyed this year's show. It makes sense to add the funds to the budget for the show, said Chris Schwartz. Needless to say, a great deal of revenue was lost due to the pandemic and derecho, and the Holiday Lights at Hickory Hills event filled an enormous void, revenue-wise but also in giving residents of Black Hawk County and all those who came to see the show something to look forward to and feel good about.

There's plenty of time between now and next Christmas to plan and prepare, so if the funding is approved by the full board of supervisors on February 16, expect a bigger and better light show for Christmas 2021 with more electrical access and new displays (and Christmas music from a certain local radio station, which will once again be absolutely free when you download the mobile app).

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