OSGOOD, Ind. - Not only has the Grinch stole Christmas in one Indiana town, he also demanded the holiday lights be turned off on his way out the door.
At least that’s the sentiment of some residents near Osgood after the organizers of the Lohrum Christmas Extravaganza decided to shut down their Christmas light display because it caused traffic issues on West County Road 525 North.
On the Lohrum Christmas Extravaganza Facebook page Saturday evening, organizers of the 60,000 light display started in 1997 reported they were “deeply saddened" to announce they were shutting down the display
The turning off of the lights stemmed from issues with cars stopping in the roadway to gawk at the display and turning around in private driveways. Local authorities informed the light show organizers “it is illegal to (impede) the flow of traffic.”
"We do not want any viewers to stop and view the display and risk the chance on getting hurt or receiving a ticket," organizers said.
But, the Lohrums added, authorities did not make them shut the display off, adding that there had been confusion about that point on their Facebook page.
"We made the call because we did not want any more issues to arise," organizers said on Facebook. "Christmas is not about arguing over Christmas lights it is about the reason for the season, and that is Jesus."
A number of Facebook followers expressed their dismay on the event's page.
“I understand...but it’s hard to hear things like this when you and your crew have worked so hard to make something so nice for people and their families to enjoy,” wrote Delbert M. Felix.
Organizers initially posted that they planned to turn the lights back on for Christmas Eve; although it wasn't clear whether that was still the case. Some fans of the display held out hope that a Christmas miracle might turn the lights back on before Christmas Eve.
“Even the Grinch ended up finding Christmas spirit,” commented Marsha Pratt. “Let’s keep hope!”