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‘Hope for the Holidays’ display lights up Collins Park

Every year, Collins Park and the Pea Island Preservation Society, Inc. partner with the Town of Manteo to shed some light to the history of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station. What better way to do this than to bring brightly lit Christmas décor to the park itself? And this year, Collins Park is shining brighter than ever.

Tonya Collins, treasurer of the Pea Island Preservation Society, Inc., spoke with The Coastland Times about the special “Hope for the Holidays” display at Collins Park. “We normally put up lights to highlight the presence and stature of the Cookhouse Museum,” Collins said. “This year, Joan Collins thought it would be nice to spruce it up.”

In recognition of the men who were stationed at Pea Island for their bravery and sacrifice, Collins said this year’s display is brighter than ever before. “They embodied the best of the human spirit, and were a beacon of hope for things to come. With us being in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, with increased racial and economic strife, now more than ever do we need hope,” said Collins.

This year, the society has also partnered with the Salvation Army to collect coats, toys and more to support the Salvation Army Angel Tree. The kettle bell will be ringing on site every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Collins said, “What we collect will be given to Dare County Children and Youth Partnership.”

The first annual coat drive for kids will also be taking place December 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; visitors to the site can bring food and coats to Collins Park. The site is serving as a second location for the town’s drive-through food drive. With the Manteo Police Department sponsoring the event, people are encouraged to drive through and drop off supplies to maintain social distancing while still enjoying the decorations and site of hope.

“We also want to give a shout out to the lady that helped with the design of decorations,” Collins said. “We have hired a local decorator, Carolyn-Norman Holadia with ‘Make Everyday A Holadia,’ who will be working with Public Works . . . to get all the decorations up.”

The decorations will be up for everyone to view until the end of the year. Visitors are encouraged to come by, day or night, to see the display. “We hope the museum and surrounding area serves as a bright spot for healing, joy and hope this holiday season,” Collins said.

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