A series of breaker failures at River Forks Park over the weekend led to outages to light displays at the Festival of Lights.

“Some breakers supplying power to some of our displays popped, leaving them half-lit,” said Brian Prawitz, event promoter and BP Media owner.

Workers spent Monday working to get the lights back up to full power for visitors to the light show.

Festival officials didn’t find out about the electrical problem until Sunday night, when messages started showing up on the event’s Facebook page saying some lights had not been on over the weekend.

Prawitz said that was the first time officials knew about the problem. As soon as they did, they started charging half price at the gate.

“We offered a free trip through the lights to anybody who felt they didn’t get their money’s worth over Thanksgiving weekend,” he said.

Those who were not satisfied can notify the Festival of Lights board through its Facebook page, and arrangements will be made to allow them a free trip through the light show.

Officials are not sure exactly when the outages started but said it could have been sometime Friday night, although no one reported it until the messages appeared on Facebook.

Prawitz said that once an explaination was posted on the Festival of Lights Facebook page, most people understood the situation.

“The supporting, kind and understanding responses from people have overwhelmed anyone who complained,” Prawitz said.

In addition to the electrical problem over the weekend a vehicle apparently jumped a curb along the route through the park with enough force to tear a chunk of curb, bend a 20-inch long rebar stake and damage a long strand of lights, according to volunteers at the scene.

Officials are not sure what the cost will be to repair the breakers and the broken display, but Prawitz says the Festival of Lights board budgets about $20,000 each year for replacing and updating the lights and infrastructure, including any electrical problems.

That money takes care of the hard costs of the festival that the board manages.

The Festival of Lights opened Nov. 24 for its 27th year and will be open every night at 5:30 p.m. through Jan. 1 at River Forks Park west of Roseburg.

The festival draws up to 25,000 visitors per year and generates hundreds of thouands of dollars for scholarships and service projects, according to the event’s Facebook page.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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