By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The beautiful lights on the buildings of boathouse row bathe the Schuylkill River in light every night of the week, but did you know you could pick the color for a special occasion for your family or organization?

Barry Bessler, Chief of Staff for Parks and Facilities in the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department, explains how it works.

“Individuals or non-profit organizations or corporations have to get in touch with us and then what we are able to do is change the color of the lights for them,” Bessler said.

Bessler has received requests from the Eagles, Phillies and Independence Blue Cross to name a few. There is a fee involved.

“For non-profit organizations it is $500. For anyone else it’s a $1,000.”

Bessler says the lights are controlled by a more sophisticated system that operates out of Lloyd Hall. He remembers a time before 2005 when that wasn’t the case.

“The former system was literally 8,000 individual 7-watt bulbs.”

For more information, contact Barry Bessler at 215-683-0204 or

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