Teamsters at Pierce County Parks and Recreation are the brains and brawn behind Spanaway Park's Fantasy Lights.

Every year, families across our region flock to Spanaway Park to enjoy a dazzling display of holiday lights. People marvel at the colorful globes suspended like chandeliers from massive firs and the magnificent scenes of animated creatures, castles, and candy canes.

But who works to ensure that the Fantasy Lights show in Pierce County is a success? Teamsters, of course. A dozen or so Local 117 members, who are employed at Pierce County Parks and Recreation, assemble, install, and maintain the displays every year.

Their work starts in October with a creative brainstorm. Then, once the plan is in place, every snowflake is custom made, refurbished, painted, zip-tied, and hung. The entire project, complete with over 300 displays, takes about five weeks to set up. After the initial installation, there is round-the-clock maintenance and protection against vandalism. 

Teamster electricians, Gerry Olsen and Robert Cady, handle the wiring and animation. Brad Wilson lays down over 2.5 miles of curb lights. Rod Forsman and Todd Mitchell lead the set up crews. Shop Steward Erich Sachs hangs the aerial displays, while Rod Amell operates the crane. Becky Little supervises and coordinates the project.

“We take a lot of pride in our work,” Sachs says. “We’re all really dedicated. Everybody’s dealing with budget cuts. But our team makes a huge effort to put on a great show for the community.”

"Our team makes a huge effort to put on a great show for the community."

As with so many Teamsters, the Pierce County staff are the driving force behind work that benefits our community, but is often overlooked. “It’s cool to pause for a minute and appreciate the work Teamsters do,” Sachs says. “We build infrastructure, we move resources, we move America.”

We may not always get a lot of recognition, but without Teamster labor and ingenuity, dazzling spectacles like Fantasy Lights would not take place. Thank you to our members at Pierce County for bringing joy to families this holiday season.

Fantasy Lights is open from 5:30pm to 9pm every day of the week, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day through January 1, 2017. The cost for the show is $14 per car. Half price nights are Dec. 5-7. For more information visit www.PierceCountyWA.org/parks