‘Unruly’ crowd, mess force closure of Christmas attraction at Quezon park

A row of plastic flower light bulbs delights visitors to the Perez Park's Christmas attraction in Lucena City.

A row of plastic flower light bulbs delights visitors to the Perez Park’s Christmas attraction in Lucena City. Photos courtesy of Jojie Villa Aranilla and Tin Binoya Brazal

LUCENA CITY – Three days after opening to the public, the popular Christmas display at Perez Park here was temporarily closed after it drew a huge crowd of spectators, some of whom reportedly damaged the decor and left a mess of plastic bags and other kinds of garbage.

In a public advisory, the Quezon provincial government announced that it would fix the ruined decor and electrical wiring to ensure the safety of visitors during the holidays.

On Nov. 25, Gov. Angelina Tan led local officials and guests in the switch-on ceremony of this year’s traditional holiday spectacle at the park and the neoclassical and art deco provincial capitol building.

The building’s façade was turned into a massive video screen showing moving Christmas scenes flashes.

Also featured in the Christmas attraction were a traditional giant Christmas tree festooned with multicolored lights at the center of the park, a recreation of the Nativity scene, and a showcase of holiday lights at the children’s playground.

Police estimated that around 100,000 people flocked to the park during the launch on Nov. 25. Huge crowds were also observed in the next two days.

Busted lights

But after the past three days, photos of destroyed Christmas decorations and busted lights surfaced on social media.

“I feel sorry for those people who put in a lot of effort just to make it beautiful. It’s ruined!” Tin Binoya Brazal, a resident here, said in a Facebook post.

She posted photos of rows of multicolored plastic flower light bulbs taken in the evening and the resulting mess the following morning.

Netizens also posted photos of piles of garbage that were left behind by some of the park visitors all over the place.

Three days later, plastic bags and other kinds of garbage were found scattered at the site, forcing the provincial government of Quezon to close the area temporarily. Photos courtesy of Jojie Villa Aranilla and Tin Binoya Brazal

Quezon tourism officer Nestor Louies Almagro expressed his dismay after seeing the damaged Christmas display.

Lack of discipline?

“We made this park attractive so that Quezonians could have a unique experience, but is this what happened?” he asked in another Facebook post, adding that some people could not be disciplined.

Diego Tañafranca, a popular local video blogger, said he was disappointed with the “ugly sights” when he posted some photos of the mess.

“The park is lovely, but you just dumped your garbage here. Be ashamed of yourself and have even a bit of discipline,” Tañafranca said in his photo captions.

Jay Lim, project manager of the environmental group Tanggol Kalikasan, reminded the public always to observe respect for the environment when disposing of garbage.

He also urged the organizers of the Christmas spectacle to place more garbage bins around the park and additional personnel to monitor the crowd. INQ


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