The 4-H light show begins Nov. 22. (DHI Media/File Photo)
The 4-H light show begins Nov. 22. (DHI Media/File Photo)

VAN WERT – For the 10th year in a row, the Van Wert 4-H Exchange Club is putting on the annual Holiday Light Show at the fairgrounds.

Jay Gamble, who spearheads the show, said that this year’s event has eight new displays from local businesses, including three new displays from the light show at Baughman Tile.

“The club is comprised of youth in Van Wert County, ages 13-18,” said Gamble. “We started setting up on Halloween weekend and will finish this weekend. “

The show will be open, Nov. 22 to Dec. 10, from Thursday through Sunday, 6-9 p.m. Then, from December 14-25, it will be open each day from 6-9 p.m.

Gamble said that this year’s event has over 90 displays and also includes the thrill of a horse-drawn wagon.

“Santa stops every Saturday night,” said Gamble. “On Nov. 26 and Dec. 10, there will be a horse-drawn wagon through the lights, compliments of Town and Country Carriage.”

Madison Pugh, president of the club, said that money that is raised through the display helps underwrite special cultural connection to other 4-H exchange clubs in different parts of the country.

“We either travel to other states and stay with other 4-H club members or they travel to Van Wert and stay with us,” said Pugh. “We are adding new displays every year. This year we changed the entrance to a more safer location. It is located on Fox Road closer to the intersection. It’s a lot of work; it takes three or four weeks to put up displays.”

Pugh said that the display features conventional Christmas displays such as trees, elves, rainbows, manger scenes and special religious displays.

We have some really cool displays such as dinosaurs, dresses from Becky’s and a new display of Paul Bunyon and Babe, the ox.

“Some of the banks have donated a display where there are elves putting coins into a piggy bank,” mused Pugh. “The businesses in the community have really gotten behind this. They have donated some beautiful displays.”

Pugh likes it that the display brings families together. She noted that families are assigned different times to be at the lights.

“Families come and open it up and then sit in the nice new building we have,” observed Pugh. “As cars pass by, we give them programs and answer any questions they might have.

“I love the 4-H Exchange Club,” noted Pugh. “I love traveling to other 4-Hers. It has given me a great opportunity to learn. I had never been to Minnesota or Montana before. We work hard and it doesn’t cost us anything.

“It’s amazing how everyone feels the spirit of giving,” continued Pugh. “When the cars line up, they all start paying for the cars behind them.”