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Community Christmas tree spruces up Main

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Main Street is decked for the holidays. A 40-foot spruce adorns downtown Park Rapids. It was raised on Sunday, then decorated on Monday in preparation for Friday's tree-lighting ceremony.

“Bravely green in wintertime,” the community Christmas tree awaits carolers and revelers at this Friday’s holiday festivities.

The 40-foot spruce was donated by the Headwaters Golf Course.

“It was a tree that obviously over the years took some balls on the number nine hole,” said

Butch De La Hunt, president/CEO of the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The roots were starting to come up from underneath it, so it was hard, if anybody ended up underneath it, to chip so it was a tree that they planned to take down.”

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Kimball Logging Company harvested the tree on Sunday, placing it in the honored spot in the center of Main Avenue.

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The Kimball Logging Company crew that worked on the tree were Cory Kimball, Lewy Deitchler, Justin Kimball, Zach Kimball, Kelly Kimball, Donny Pachel and Tyler Henry.

“They did a fabulous job,” De La Hunt said.

On Monday, linemen from Itasca-Mantrap Electric Co-op and Minnesota Power teamed up to string with lights and festive decorations. (See video on the Enterprise website.)

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Chris Bungert of Itasca Mantrap Electric Co-op strings green and red bulbs to the community Christmas tree.

The community Christmas tree has been, for the past 35 years, a partnership between the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association and CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care.

The tree-lighting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 29 will follow the Yuletide Sampler, which 5 to 6 p.m., in downtown Park Rapids.

Participating businesses host this annual event as a way to thank the community for their support all year and invite the start of holiday shopping. Freewill offerings from the Yuletide Sampler will be donated to CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care.

Chamber ambassadors will be serving hot cocoa, and fire pits will be lit for roasting marshmallows, De La Hunt said.

“Santa is reported to be coming to town,” he added.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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