Noble Park's charitable tradition starts strong


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photographer - Mason Watkins

PADUCAH - "Christmas in the Park" is a Paducah tradition families from all over the Local 6 area wait for. Anticipating the lights in Noble Park, knowing how they bring it to life.

Dozens of cars lined up waiting for the lights to come on tonight, but they were carrying more than just excited spectators. They were carrying can goods and donations to help supply charities long after the lights come down.

The crowd gathered, the cars waited, and then Noble Park sparked to life and the donations started pouring in.

"We've been concerned over the last few years. We always go into the season thinking.. well, the economy isn't so great and maybe donations would be down. And yet every year people have stepped up and it's been wonderful," Director of Community Relations for Paducah Power Andrea Underwood said.

Food and money collected at the park are split among the Paducah Cooperative Ministry, Family Services, and the Salvation Army. The fundraiser hit the half a million pound mark for food donations, which prompted sponsor Paducah Power to set a lofty goal this year.

"If we can raise forty-three thousand dollars this year, we will crack the half a million dollar mark," Underwood said.

You'll also start hearing the familiar sound of bells. The Salvation Army kettles and angel trees are up and these little buckets have a big job; funding the Salvation Army throughout the year.

So whether it's the change in your pocket or the extra can of food, all the charities are hoping this season of giving will be the strongest yet.

Noble Park will be on display Sunday through Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

You can also donate to one of the 11 participating schools in the Paducah area who are competing to collect the most food. There will be one-day stuff the truck events next week at both Lourdes Hospital and Baptist Health. All donations will go towards the "Christmas in the Park" total.

Something new this year at Noble Park: horse-drawn carriage rides. You have to make a reservation, but a portion of the rides will also be donated to the cause.