Partner Profile: Bates Technical College
Since 1997, Bates Technical College students and staff members have partnered with Pierce County Parks and Recreation and contributed to the success of Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park. Their contributions have allowed the event to be recognized as the largest drive through display of holiday lights in the Northwest. Each year students and staff from the college have welded, transported and wired displays of all sizes gaining experience in their welding, electrical and transportation courses.
“This 18-year partnership with Pierce County Parks and Recreation has yielded countless hands-on learning experiences for our students, who are becoming experts in their craft,” said Rick Huston, the college’s welding instructor. “Students take a great deal of pride in their work, and are always excited to watch their illuminated project set in motion at the park for their families and others to enjoy,” he added.
Some of the “crowd favorite” displays built by Bates over the years include the Santa Ship, Candy Cane Lane, Gingerbread Playground, Penguins Sliding Down an Igloo, and the Frog Tree (pictured above). This year students are currently working on a giant animated Dog display that will be ready for opening night on November 26th.
“We are proud of our long partnership with Pierce County Parks and Recreation,” said President Ron Langrell. “Our annual participation is a shining example of our community involvement with neighborhood partners. Fantasy Lights is a fun and rewarding tradition for our students and employees, and we look forward to being a part of it each holiday season,” he said.