Prestonsburg hosts ‘Sensory Christmas in the Park’

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 9:08 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - The city of Prestonsburg’s Christmas lights display is often very bright and very loud, but on Thursday, the lights and sounds were toned down to allow folks who may experience sensory overload a night of fun at the park.

“Some of our lights are very aggressive and by aggressive, I mean they’re really doing a lot of flashing, they’re bright, the noise of the songs will be really loud, and it’s, you know, it’s pretty intense,” said Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton. “We’ve toned everything down. It’ll either be still or it’ll be low key and it gives people an opportunity to bring kids out to enjoy it that may not have been able to enjoy it otherwise.”

For parents like Courtney Crider, this night is special for her family. Crider and the Eastern Kentucky Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder Support Group have advocated for nights like this for more than two years.

“Nothing makes me happier than to see everybody noticing and being more aware of children like mines needs,” said Crider.

Crider adds that this allows families like her’s to join in on the holiday fun without the fear of her children being overstimulated.

“It brings my kids happiness and they get to enjoy things and, like I said, they don’t get as overstimulated,” said Crider. “If they do get overstimulated, there’s always a place for them to go in the area for them to calm down and come back out and enjoy the time.”

Stapleton added that it is important for communities across Eastern Kentucky to be mindful of those who experience sensory overload when planning any event.