CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — On Wednesday, the Champaign Park District reported that someone cut light strands at the Prairie Farm Winter Nights display, causing around $700 worth of damage. The vandalism occurred over two days on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28.

“There are cameras, and the staff is looking through the footage to see if they can find the suspect, and we are adding more cameras,” Chelsea Norton, the marketing coordinator for the Champaign Park District said. She added while this is not happy news, “We wanted to get the word out about this even though it is bad news so the community can be on the lookout.”

Staff is disappointed, but they plan to rebuild the maze display, which was most affected by the recent vandalism.

“The maze is one of the biggest features that we are working on right now, but it is a tricky one because to make it like a maze, you have to put the lights a certain way,” Norton said. “Several light strands have been cut there. We will have to rebuild that feature completely.”

Norton said the maze feature was installed last week before the vandalism and is one of their most extensive features.

“Winter Nights at Prairie Farm takes weeks of on-site building and is set up for Thursday-Sunday viewing for five weeks over the holidays,” Zoe Southlynn-Savage, Champaign Park District Special Events Manager said. “We are really disappointed at this setback, costing us not only in supplies, but also in staff time. We will have to redo several features that were already set up.”

“We are trying to sort out what happened and make it stop so we can have our event on opening night,” Norton said.

Norton assumed someone jumped the fence as there are no locks broken. She added the park is loved.

“Prairie Farm is a beloved facility that the community has embraced for decades.”

The park district is asking if anyone noticed suspicious activity at Prairie Farm in Centennial Park on Oct. 27 or Oct. 28 to report it to them by calling 217-398-2550.

They have since filed a police report immediately following the discovery of the cut strands, and the Champaign Police are investigating this incident.

Winter Nights is a free event at Prairie Farm opens on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving and runs until Dec. 31. This is their third year doing the event, second time at Prairie Farm which is located in Centennial Park.