The Clasky Common Park was lit for the Christmas season a week ago Sunday. During the first week of the park being illuminated, there were problems with the lights not being turned on when it got dark on at least four occasions.

On Saturday, we enjoyed the matinee performance of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra's Christmas concert at the Zeiterion Theater with some elderly folks who were visiting from Rhode Island. Following the show, we drove them through downtown New Bedford to see the Christmas decorations and then off to the Clasky Common Park to see the lights. The park was in darkness. It was after 5 p.m. All were disappointed.

I contacted City Councilor Ian Abreu to inform him that the lights had not been turned on as yet and to inquire as to when they might be. Abreu told me that he had already had to contact the DPI three times during the first week to report that the lights had not been turned on when it got dark and that he would do so again.

Abreu says he was informed by DPI officials that there is a problem in that the lights "keep tripping," some sort of an "electrical issue." Not for nothing, but how many times does DPI have to be notified of the problem before it gets fixed?

The Christmas display at the park is magical but it is only around for a very short time. I wonder if others who might have been visiting the city for the NBSO show on Saturday were disappointed as well.

I was notified about a half-hour after my initial contact with Abreu that the park lights had been turned on but by then it was too late for us. We were already on the way back to Rhode Island with our elderly visitors by that point.

For many elderly folks and those with small children, the best time for viewing the light display is right after dark before large crowds and traffic begin to form. Let's hope any problems with the electricity have been rectified so that visitors to the park can enjoy the festive decorations without disappointment.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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