'Marry Me' display sets stage for love story at Odessa park

‘Marry Me’ display sets stage for love story at Odessa park

Near a large, lit-up “Marry Me” display, a local man asked the love of his life for her hand in marriage at McKinney Park in Odessa on Thursday, Dec. 8.

Derek Judkins proposed to his girlfriend, Brittany Alvarez, after leading her down the walking path at the park’s holiday feature, Starbright Village, the largest display of lights in the Permian Basin, according to Victor Wade, acting director of communications for the City of Odessa, which had a hand in setting up the heartwarming scene.

Judkins had asked Steve Patton, the city’s director of Parks & Recreation, if he could put a small sign made with battery operated lights at the end of Starbright Village’s walking path that said, “Will you marry me?” Patton was all for it.

“I told him that if he didn’t, I would be very disappointed!,” Patton said.

Click on image to view the video of the marriage proposal.

After dark on Thursday, Judkins’ friends worked to set up the display while the couple enjoyed dinner. Afterward, as the couple made their way through Starbright Village, visitors began asking about the “Marry Me” display, even though its lights were off, according to Wade. Although friends and city staff on hand didn’t reveal the secret, some visitors stayed to see what would happen.

When the couple arrived, a precious moment ensued. As described by Wade: “Derek walked her to a heart-shaped strand of red Christmas lights on the ground, grabbed a bouquet of flowers and got down on his knee, holding Brittany’s hand, and asked her to marry him.”

Brittany said yes, prompting cheers from onlookers.

Along with Patton and Wade, Matthew Christman, deputy director of Parks & Recreation, were also witnesses to the union.

“I really love seeing these kind of heart touching stories, that bring people together,” Patton said.

Added Wade, “We all at the City of Odessa wish them a blessed life of prosperity, love and happiness.”