Ron and I went over to Catoosa this evening for the lighting of the Blue Whale, which a group of volunteers from the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce decorated for Christmas.
I thought they did a pretty nice job. They used a lot of LED lights, which have a bluish tone that really looks good on the whale.
In addition to the whale itself, the nearby Noah’s Ark replica — part of the former Animal Reptile Kingdom (ARK), a roadside zoo and amusement park that included the Blue Whale and several alligator pits — was lit for Christmas.
I was particularly excited about seeing the ark, as it had been obscured by vegetation for many years. Seeing it uncovered would have been worth the trip out there; the lights were just the icing on the cake.
The event’s organizers are thinking about doing some historic preservation work on the ark. I hope they can pull it off.
The event also afforded us the opportunity to see the whale from a different angle: Thanks to the recent cold snap, most of the vegetation had died back, and we were able to walk down a little trail on the back side of the pond that gave us a different view of the whale.
During the festivities, a group of carolers sang in front of the whale’s mouth:
I was amused by this theft-prevention effort:
I am assuming this was the handiwork of Blue Whale caretaker Blaine Davis. It certainly looks like Blaine’s sense of humor.
I climbed up inside the whale’s head to get a better look at the snowflakes hanging in the portholes. The effect from inside was pretty nice. Photos don’t really do it justice, but this was the best I could do:
The lights will be on at the Blue Whale from dusk to midnight daily through Christmas.