Lincoln Parish Park’s ‘Light Up the Pines’ deemed a success

By Jim Wilkerson

Since 2015, Lincoln Parish Park has decorated parts of its forest with the help of local businesses and friends. This event, known as “Light Up the Pines”, is coordinated by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and numerous campers and takes place every December. This year’s dates were Dec. 2-4.

At the Police Jury meeting this week, Lincoln Parish Park manager James Ramsaur noted that this was a record year for the event. A total of 1,938 cars drove through the park to see the spectacle, which is up 19 cars from the previous year.

“We had a meeting today discussing it, and we pretty much all agreed it was the best one yet,” Ramsaur told the Police Jury.

“We had a lot of good feedback, and we came up with different ideas,” Ramsaur said. “We had a fire truck that participated this year, and Kip had his lights on the dam. I think that added a lot. We were blessed with good weather all three days. It went really well.”

Ramsaur attributes this year’s success to several things, among them being no chance of rain in the forecast and more people being aware of the event.

When asked what feedback the Park received from customers, Ramsaur said that many were pleased with the wide variation in decorations due to 60+ businesses participating.

Lynne Gnemi, who is on the “Light Up the Pines” committee and is in charge of camper reservations, also noted that 47 RVs decorated and contributed significantly to the event (photograph above). Some of the campers have been there since the first “Light Up the Pines”, and because of the popularity of the event, it can take up to two years before one can reserve a camper site.

So, how did the idea of “Light Up the Pines” initially come about?

“In 2014 Tyler State Park had a Christmas lights display in their campground,” Ramsaur explained. “Harold Parker and some other people were there, RV camping that weekend, and thought it would be a great event for Lincoln Parish Park. He came to me with the idea, and I felt like it would be a good fit for us. And we agreed to do it.”

The seventh year having this event, the Park administration seems to be hitting its stride.

Because it currently runs on generators, “Light Up the Pines” lasts for only three days. When asked if there was potential in the future for the event to last longer, Ramsaur said that the plan is to add another weekend, possibly next year. 

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