Chesapeake Energy will not put up popular Christmas display

Chesapeake Energy Christmas lights

Chesapeake Energy says it will not be putting up its popular Christmas light display this holiday season.

For the last 14 years, the company would wrap more than 60,000 strands of lights on 8 city blocks of trees. The light show became a holiday tradition.

This year, Chesapeake said it's refocusing its holiday plans.

"In lieu of the holiday lights display, Chesapeake is pleased to partner with the Oklahoma City Thunder in delivering leadership support for the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, which provides holiday gifts to disadvantaged children in our community," Director of Strategic Communications Gordon Pennoyer said.

"Those gifts are absolutely incredible. We're very excited about this partnership that has developed," Maj. Carlyle Gargis with the Salvation Army said. "It really couldn't have come at a better time because with the economy, it affects us kind of negatively on both sides."

Gargis said donations go down as need for assistance goes up.

Pennoyer says his company will also continue its partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

"We hope all Oklahomans will join us in lighting up the lives of those most in need during this holiday season." Pennoyer said.

While many Oklahomans expressed they will miss the display, they said the move is understandable.

With low oil prices, Chesapeake's earnings have slumped. In September, Chesapeake laid off 15 percent of its work force.

Pennoyer said the cutting the lights is not a cost saving move. He said it is really cost-neutral, because the money that would have been spent on installation and operations will instead go to charity.

Does this mean the lights will never be back? Pennoyer didn't say, he only commented that Chesapeake is focusing on its impact to the community this year.

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