Penelec Helps to Light Up PA State Park

December 3, 2020

FirstEnergy’s very own “Tinsel Team” has been busy lighting the way for holiday cheer in Erie, Pa.

Penelec joined hands with the Presque Isle Partnership and other community organizations to plan a celebration of holiday lights in Presque Isle State Park on the Lake Erie Shore. The show will feature nearly 30,000 LED lights arranged in various displays spread throughout the park, including illuminated versions of deer, frogs, owls and other wildlife native to Presque Isle.

Presque Isle Lights schedule:

The hours for all the dates are 6 to 9 p.m.

  • Saturday, Dec. 5, and Sunday, Dec. 6
  • Friday, Dec. 11, through Sunday, Dec. 13
  • Friday, Dec. 18, through Sunday, Dec. 20
  • day, Dec. 25, through Sunday, Dec. 27
  • Friday, Jan. 1, through Sunday, Jan. 3.

The Presque Isle Lights event begins Dec. 5-6 and will continue each weekend through Jan. 3. Visitors will take self-guided tours of the displays by driving the 13-mile loop of the park. The show is designed to give visitors a safe way to enjoy the holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is free.

“We know what a tough year it’s been, and we hope this show provides some holiday cheer,” said Marybeth Smialek, manager, Regional External Affairs, Penelec. “The drive-thru format of the light show, allowing visitors to participate while staying in their vehicles, lends itself to be a socially distanced, COVID-safe experience.”

Penelec participation goes far beyond sponsorship.

“Our engineering team looked over electrical infrastructure at the pa​rk to determine what was feasible when planning light displays,” said Nick Austin, Penelec regional president. “We also worked closely with contractors to add outlets and other temporary equipment to our utility poles and distribution facilities to be able to plug in all of the planned lights and displays.”

Then line crews joined dozens of company volunteers and their families — dubbed the “Tinsel Team” – to hang lights throughout the park. Line workers used bucket trucks to safely reach some of the taller spots.

Park areas featuring the lights and displays will include the interpretive center, ranger station, Admiral Perry Monument and Presque Isle Lighthouse. Each area of lights will have a different theme. Hot chocolate stations and the broadcasting of holiday music are also planned. It is hoped the show will become an annual event.