The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 13, 2013

Bunker Hill brightens for season

VCCD adds Christmas lights to historic village

BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL bhuchel@dancomnews.com
The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — The step back in history offered at Kennekuk County Park is about to undergo its annual Christmas illumination.

Bunker Hill Historic Area will be lined with Christmas lights up and down the strip as Vermilion County Conservation District shows off its annual holiday extravaganza tonight.

The historic buildings will light the county park skies starting at 4 p.m., lasting until 8 p.m. The Bunker Hill area is scheduled to be lit up each Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the rest of the month as well as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Ken Konsis, conservation district executive director, said the move to cut back the Bunker Hill days to just the weekends was made as a result of poor turnout to the location during the week.

“Attendance used to be pretty good,” he said.

It’s been almost 15 years now the Bunker Hill site at Kennekuk County Park has been lit up for the holiday season. Konsis said at least 10,000 lights go down the main strip of buildings, including Neff Grocery Store, the Atwood Home, Vermilion Chapel, Red Oak School, the train car and the Hideaway. A Christmas tree decorates the Bunker Hill gazebo.

An open house on Sunday officially kicked off this year for the lights.

According to Konsis, it was ideas gathered from other areas in central Illinois that led to the decision to light Bunker Hill’s buildings.

“We’d travel around and see some other lights that other communities did,” he said, noting the city park in Paris and the decorations at Lake Shelbyville as two examples. “We thought we’d do something, too.”