Vandals strike Christmas display

Thursday, January 5, 2006
Damaging the holiday spirit On Dec. 27, 2005, vandals cut several places in the drive lights and knocked over 12 of the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce's Christmas light displays along the Greenway Trail at the Cassville City Park. Democrat Photo

Late at night, on Dec. 27, 2005, vandals made their way down the Cassville Greenway Trail and knocked over 12 of the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas light displays.

"They cut five or six places in the drive lights," said Amy White, Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. "One display even looks like they tried to carry it off."

After discovering the damage on Dec. 28, 2005, Joe Schnabl, Chamber of Commerce board member, filed a report with the Cassville Police Department, but White is unsure exactly how much damage was done.

"We will have to test them all again," said White. "It's not only the damage, but the amount of hours the city and Joe and others spend putting the displays up each year. It's a lot of work."

Each year, the Christmas light displays are taken down the week after Christmas and stored for the next year's festivities.

This year, the crews couldn't work fast enough and vandals struck the display on the first night that the lights were not on. Volunteers hope to have the entire lighting display disman-tled by the end of this week.

After the Christmas decorations are taken down, they will be tested and assessed for damage. Insurance adjusters have been contacted and displays will be repaired as soon as possible, said White.

"These displays are very expensive," said White. "We have many that are $2,500 and some can be as much as $15,000."

All of the Cassville Christmas light displays are ordered and shipped from either Manneco, of Independence, or Ozarks Lights, of Springfield.

Any information regarding the vandalism should be directed to the Cassville Police Department at 847-4700.

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