FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A holiday lights display in Fall River was vandalized twice this week shortly after it was put up, according to event organizers.
Kennedy Park in Fall River is decorated for the first-annual Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights set to take place on Dec. 4. But it was hit by vandals before the lights could even go on.
“I’m so heartbroken. So heartbroken,” event organizer Roxanne Longstone said in a Facebook live video.
Longstone, a member of the non-profit organization Creative Community Vision, was checking out the decorations on Thursday when she noticed the lights strung in the trees had been cut and tossed on the ground.
“I’ve been working endlessly on this project,” she said. “We decided to do this for our community, for the kids, but yet the vandalism is just uncontrollable.”
The next day, she returned to find more decorations were vandalized.
At the park’s warming house, candy canes were tied to the railings. On Friday, she found that almost all had been ripped off and snapped in half.
“We have one candy cane out of six that are still standing,” Longstone said.
Fall River police said in a statement they believe the candy cane vandalism happened sometime between 3:30 p.m. Thursday and 5:30 a.m. Friday.
Det. Sergeant Moses Pereira added that officers assigned to the area “will maintain higher visibility in and around the park.”
Residents like Jeff, who frequents the park with his daughter, said the act of vandalism is “distasteful” and has this message for who’s responsible.
“Just be kind. Be kind,” he said. “There’s people with kids and so forth who want to come to the city … we can’t do that.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fall River Police Department at (508) 676-8511. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by dialing (508) 672-TIPS (8477).
The Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights is still set to take place on Dec. 4 at Kennedy Park.