CHAPIN, S.C. — A whole bunch of student brain power is what's lighting up a brand new display at Saluda Shoals Park this holiday season.
The partnership between the school district and the park began after the Saluda Shoals facilities and operations superintendent learned these students could help with projects.
'Beaming up Santa' is the theme the park established for this year's light display.
Dozens of students from the Lexington-Richland Five Center for Advanced Technical Studies are who put it all together in a matter of just a few weeks. This is the third year the school has worked with the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission to create a light display. In year’s past, designs included Tracy the Triceratops and an erupting volcano in their dinosaur area.
Lily Cayton, a senior design student, is responsible for envisioning the layout of everything.
"I thought it was really cool because I've gone to the Saluda Shoals Christmas lights every single year since I can remember with my family, so it would be really cool to have a Christmas light there that I actually made," Cayton said.
Jonah Bickley, a junior electricity program student, is the Thomas Edison of the operation.
"Just stringing all the lights together and just putting all the connections together, and then whenever we put it up, I thought it was fun having to go back and figure out what connections we hooked up wrong and having to redo them and that was just the best part of the project," Bickley said.
Welders at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies melted pieces together to create the light display. These students are using classroom skills to light up the Midlands.
"This project is a really awesome opportunity for the kids to create something and then have it on display in the community where not just they get to enjoy it, but the whole community gets to enjoy it and it stays, it exists beyond just this project and beyond just this year," John Gray, electricity instructor said.
According to Saluda Shoals, this new display will be up for anyone to see from 6 until 10 p.m. until December 31, 2022.