A few months ago, it was discussed at Kittanning Borough Council about the poor condition of the Christmas lights used in Kittanning Riverfront Park.
Approximately ten of the 50 fixtures were put up, but most had blown bulbs and bad sockets.
Paul Klukan, co-chairman of the Ford City Renaissance Community Partnership, noticed the ill-fated lights and wanted to assist.
“We came up to take care of the Christmas lights in the park. We didn’t like the way they looked at nighttime and we figured we would do something for Kittanning, try to bring the two communities together by volunteering and trying to take care of some of their Christmas lights for them by repairing them.”
Klukan designed and handcrafted the Christmas lighting fixtures currently being used in Ford City, saving the town thousands of dollars. He said the Riverfront Park fixtures are weather-worn.
“They are in bad shape. I got this one working the best I could. When they are taken down in January, they need all redone. There are a lot of bad sockets, a lot of the tape is coming loose and that is what holds the sockets on. They just need some tender loving care.”
Currently, the fixtures use standard incandescent lamps which are more susceptible to weather conditions.
“All the displays we make in Ford City, we use LED bulbs. They are a little bit more money, but they are just about indestructible. When you tap them, the filaments won’t break. They use a lot less power. I think it is a much nicer light.”
There is roughly 60 bulbs per display, with as many as 50 displays for the Park. The conversion to LED bulbs in addition to fixing the sockets is not an inexpensive endeavor. Klukan estimated the light bulbs to be approximately $5,000.
“They need to contact me, bring them out to me, I’ll look at them, and try to give them an idea of what it will cost to get them fixed up. It will be volunteer hours. We won’t charge them any labor. All they have to buy is the material to repair them.”
For now, Christmas in Kittanning Riverfront Park will look a little bit brighter because of the efforts of the Ford City craftsman.