|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - December 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — A 32-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty was the masterpiece among the new lighted Christmas decorations by the Livingston Parks and Recreation Department. Area residents got their fi rst glimpse of Lady Liberty and “God Bless America” decorations Tuesday when city offi cials fl ipped the switch at the Lights for Leslie tree lighting ceremony at City Hall. The Statue of Liberty display stands next to Iwo Jima and the giant American fl ag at the intersection of U.S. 190 and the Loop 59 bypass. “We pulled a picture of the Statue of Liberty off the Internet and Raymond Gilshannon started sketching and drawing,” said Cody Marsh, Parks and Recreation Department staff member. “We got measurements and started cutting, welding and bending.” Lady Liberty took about two weeks to build and gets her special glow from 1,400 lights, according to Marsh. After all that work, Marsh admitted he was a little nervous about how the statue was going to tolerate being hoisted into the air. “It’s long and kinda flimsy and I was worried about standing it up without it bending in half,” Marsh said. “We got a lot of help from the electric and street department crews getting it raised up.” Parks crew members Sal Ramirez and Burt Garcia bend the pipes to match the designs drawn by Gilshannon. Alex Rodriguez and Juan Cuellar help the pair wrap the sculpture with lights. The God Bless America letters are 15 feet tall and are mounted off the ground near the statue and the Iwo Jima design. The parks crew also created the Believe archway at City Hall that is flanked by a pair of angels. They also created 20 new stars and 20 snowflakes which were added to the collection of designs that line Church and Washington Streets. Marsh said the parks department staff really enjoys creating the designs and setting them up for the kids and the community to enjoy every holiday season. The star and snowflake designs now extend the entire length of Business 59, according to electric department supervisor Dewayne Oates. His crews also installed designs on Church Street from Wal-Mart east to the Campbell Woods Subdivision.