During Winter Wonderland in 2011, the Crookston community celebrated the lighting of its first official Christmas tree, located in the Bremer Bank parking lot. A similar lighting will take place during 2012's Winter Wonderland on Friday, Dec. 7, although the official tree will be located about a block to the northeast of last year's tree.
It's part of an effort to light up Crookston's new Downtown Square for the holiday season, said Crookston City Council Member Wayne Melbye at a city Ways & Means Committee meeting Monday night. Through his work with the Crookston InMotion community stewardship initiative and also the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Melbye, along with fellow council member and Crookston InMotion stewardship team member Tom Jorgens, said Downtown Square proponents feel that it's important to show that the new downtown amenity can be an attraction in the colder months on the calendar, too, and not just during the summer when the square is home to the Crookston Farmers' Market and Ox Cart Days Festival events.
"The whole point is getting something going downtown and getting this square off the ground," Jorgens said. "We want people to get used to the fact that this piece of property can be a focal point all year long."
The city council has a few thousand dollars here and there in various accounts, said Finance Director Angel Hoeffner, so the committee approved the allocation of up to $1,000 to cover any costs that might arise in connection with the effort to decorate and light up the Downtown Square for the holidays.
All three implement dealers in town, Titan Machinery, Ziegler and Crookston Implement have agreed to bring large tractors to the square, Melbye said, which will be covered with lights. Dawn Resendiz and the staff from D & D's Greenhouse and Garden Center have agreed to lend a decorative hand, he continued.
An electricity panel had previously been installed at the square, and Melbye said Reese Electric has said it will help set up the best power flow possible once the square is lit up.
Although he hasn't set up any formal process, Melbye said donations of decorations or lights from the community would be welcome. "But I don't want to go begging for donations," he said. "We'll get the word out and see what happens. We want it to look nice, to be something that catches people's eye, and maybe they stop and check it out."
The tree lighting will take place in the cluster of six trees on the corner of the square nearest to the school district bus garage. More details will be forthcoming as they're finalized.
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