Volunteers began the long process Saturday of coiling miles of Christmas lights, taking down statuary and packing it all away for next year as Nature’s Coastal Holiday finished its annual light extravaganza Dec. 28.

Volunteers are needed Saturday to complete the work, which begins at 9 a.m.; with 80 to 100 people, the work can be accomplished in about two hours.

The event attracted 23,000 viewers — 2,000 less than last year — despite having to close for three nights due to inclement weather, said board member Leslie Wilkinson.

Brookings’ Tourism Promotion and Advisory Committee has allocated lodging tax revenue to the event in recent years to add more lights and statuary and bring more visitors to town — a goal the board continues to meet, Wilkinson said.

“It was a great success,” she said. “There were many out-of-town visitors who heard about the show via the several avenues of advertising we used this year. We know there were motel rooms booked, stores visited and meals bought in our local restaurants — a good boost to the area’s off-season tourist trade.”

And this year’s Great Holiday Hoopla Giveaway Raffle brought in $17,000, which will be used toward a required $50,000 grant match to pave the Capella parking lot. Nature’s Christmas Holiday has amassed $34,000 for that project, and will be seeking another $16,000 in private donations to meet their commitment.

Salina Gonzalez won the grand prize of a trip to Disneyland.

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