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United Way Winter Lightfest starts the 2023 season strong

The United Way of Abilene is hoping this year’s Winter Lightfest will have better attendance than last year’s.

The United Way has set a goal of raising $200,000 to distribute to nonprofits in the community. And the President and CEO of the United Way of Abilene, Cathy Ashby says nice weather helped the season get off to a strong start on Friday, “Last Thanksgiving and Christmas were very cold and so far it's been mild so today was a wonderful first day, record set of tickets. And you don’t always know because when they buy the tickets they’re good for any day, but we sold a lot of tickets today!”

The paved trails take visitors past three million lights, and Ashby says additions this year include a new light tunnel, singing reindeer, and a 60 foot tall snowman. Guests can purchase s’mores kits to make at fire pits as well as hot drinks, tacos, bar-b-cue, and chicken from food trucks.

32 nonprofits, six student organizations, four government entities, and nine other businesses are volunteering their time to make this year’s event a success.

KACU is joining the more than 900 volunteers at Winter Lightfest each weekend, so say “hello” if you see our folks in their red KACU t-shirts.

Heather Claborn joined KACU as news director in January 2018. She oversees daily newscast and feature reporting and works with KACU’s news anchors to develop newscasts. She also conducts two-way interviews, reports for newscast and feature stories and maintains the station’s social media and website content. In 2020, Claborn helped staff develop the daily newsletter that is delivered by email.