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Community Christmas Tree in place on Main

The Park Rapids Community Christmas tree on Main is a tradition that goes back 20-plus years, starting with the Walsh Family and their logging business. Steve and Robin Walsh of Dick Walsh Forest Products cut and hauled this year's tree to town w...

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The Community Christmas Tree, a 40-foot balsam, was installed Sunday downtown on Main in preparation for Friday’s tree lighting celebration. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with the tree lighting at 6 p.m. (Kevin Cederstrom / Enterprise)

The Park Rapids Community Christmas tree on Main is a tradition that goes back 20-plus years, starting with the Walsh Family and their logging business.  Steve and Robin Walsh of Dick Walsh Forest Products cut and hauled this year’s tree to town where it was installed Sunday. The 40-foot balsam was donated by John Cordahl of A&C Lumber.  The Community Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration kicks off the holiday season Friday, Nov. 27 with the Yuletide Sampler at 5 p.m. and tree lighting at 6 p.m. Santa is also scheduled to arrive in style during the celebration.  The tree lighting is done in partnership with CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice “Light Up a Life” program.  

The event marks the start to Christmas shopping, leading into Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28. Many local businesses will feature specials and sales promotions.  Kristine Walsh, who is married to Steve Walsh, was on hand Sunday as the community tree was put into place. As is the Walsh Family tradition one of the boys climbed the tree after it was set in place and unhooked the chain. This year, the honor went to 13-year-old Dan Walsh.  Starting with Harris Walsh a little over 20 years ago, the family has carried on the annual tradition, donating time and machinery to transport the Community Christmas Tree and install on Main.  The Chamber of Commerce puts out the word each year for people to call in with a tree they think might be suitable to serve as the Main street tree.  For the second straight year a Cordahl tree was selected.  After 20-plus years involvement the Walsh Family is looking to step away from the Christmas tree tradition this year and encourages someone else to take on the important task of cutting down and transporting the tree to town.  Minnesota Power provided bucket trucks for other volunteers to hang decorations.  

“Heart of the Holidays” is the all-encompassing theme promoting numerous events going on in Park Rapids.  Other events include the Christmas show at Long Lake Theater Dec. 3-6 and Dec. 10-13; The Classic Chorale Christmas Concert, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 6, 3 p.m., at St. Johns Lutheran Church.  CHI St. Joseph’s Health Auxiliary’s Christmas Sweets, Treats and Treasures at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church is Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Christmas Showcase featuring numerous vendors is Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Armory Square.  Park Theatre is offering free holiday matinee movies each Saturday starting this week through Dec. 19.  The Park Rapids Holly ball Community Celebration will be held Dec. 17, starting at 5 p.m. at Armory Square. This event culminates with grand prize giveaways announcements for all promotions.

Related Topics: PARK RAPIDSCHRISTMAS
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