What began as a small lighting project to lend a little festive holiday atmosphere to Utah's Territorial Statehouse in Fillmore has blossomed into an attraction of 75,000 Christmas lights. But the venture didn't come about without problems.

It all started six years ago when 1,000 lights were placed on the front of the Statehouse under the direction of then-park ranger Matt Sheridan. The project was quick to gain support from area residents, and donations were received to expand the lighting."However, fate had other plans," said park ranger Mark A. Trotter.

He said the director of Utah Parks and Recreation visited after hearing about the attraction, thought the lights were an enhancement to the park but was concerned with the sight of light strands on the building during the day and rusting of small nails that were used to hang the lights.

"Believing the integrity of the old historic building was in jeopardy with this event, he banned the placement of lights on the building," Trotter said.

In 1991, only the grounds were decorated with lights.

"However, the atmosphere was just not the same as in previous years," Trotter said. "The Division of Parks and Recreation received hundreds of letters the following months, requesting a way be found to again light the Statehouse at Christmas time."

The letters were effective, and the Board of Parks and Recreation, decided to again allow lighting of the building.

The next year the Statehouse was lighted again as well as most of the shrubs and trees in the park, Trotter said.