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A lighting ceremony will take place tonight on Park Avenue to celebrate the installation of eight streetlights, which are part of an ongoing effort by residents and local businesses to improve the neighborhood located just north of downtown Hot Springs.

The LightUptown Lighting Ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. at the intersection of Pullman Street and Park Avenue. The exact address is 871 Park Ave. Local magician Maxwell Blade will take part, "magically turning on our new streetlights," Hannah Mills, a board member of the Park Avenue Community Association, said.

The new lights are replicas of the lamps that are in New York City's Central Park, each with a price tag of about $5,000. When the project is finished, Mills said 77 streetlights will be installed. The Park Avenue Community Association spearheaded the project, raising money for their installation.

Over the past several years, the group has been working to improve the area around Park Avenue. New crosswalks have been installed, better sidewalks, bus shelters and rain gardens, which help with flooding. A new park featuring an amphitheater, a playground and butterfly gardens is slated for completion sometime soon, Mills said.

"Park Avenue was known as one of the worst sections of the city. It had declined a lot, but now it has literally the lowest crime rate in the city. We are pretty proud of that," Mills said.

"The people in this area, not only in the association, have worked really well together and they support each other and support everything to make this place a beautiful place," she added. "It is working."

Mills says ample parking is available for this evening's lighting ceremony at a nearby Family Dollar store. The event will take place at a red streetlight, which marks the entrance to the future Northwoods trailhead. The trailhead will mark the start of an extensive trail system being developed around lakes and hills located near downtown Hot Springs.

Local on 09/10/2018

Print Headline: Lighting ceremony tonight for new Park Avenue street lamps

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