No hayride at Winterhaven?
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Nov. 14, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some of the holiday cheer could be missing from the Winterhaven Festival of Lights this year.
Thousands of people go to Winterhaven each year to enjoy the elaborate Christmas light display and they did so by way of hayrides.
However, it appears things could possibly change this year.
Winterhaven held a town meeting last night, and it's all connected to the concerns and controversy surrounding the popular hayrides.
Last week, officials decided the rides would not be pulled by horses or mules because that's potentially too dangerous.
Now, Winterhaven officials say the possibility of pulling the hayrides with tractors or trucks would likely be too pricey of a venture.
Mark White has been involved with Winterhaven for several years.
He says the thousands of dollars worth of insurance premiums are too expensive and not affordable.
The 63rd annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights will still go on, but people will have find a different means of viewing the festive neighborhood.
The board says, as much as they would like to continue with the beloved hayrides, it's a liability they just can't afford.
Additionally, the festival of lights is a huge Community Food Bank draw.
Last year the event raised more than $20,000 and 33,000 pounds of food.
It remains to be seen how this change in policy could affect those donations.
Winterhaven opens up to the public on December 14th.