Lions Club gets Memorial Hall tree ready for Christmas

As December rolls on, Christmas is steadily approaching. And what’s Christmas in New England without the magnificent tree at the Memorial Hall all lit up for the holiday spirit?

Slope Electric and MDU donated the bucket trucks to hang Christmas lights on the Memorial Hall tree.
Slope Electric and MDU donated the bucket trucks to hang Christmas lights on the Memorial Hall tree.

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

As December rolls on, Christmas is steadily approaching. And what’s Christmas in New England without the magnificent tree at the Memorial Hall all lit up for the holiday spirit?

As young members of the Lions Club, Jeff Fortner, Melissa Tay and Justin Nelson have been getting the grand tree ready for the annual ceremony each year.

Since adopting the duties two years ago, the three have gathered and put their time and effort into making it the main street spectacle for the whole town and its visitors to enjoy.

Montana-Dakota Utilities allows Nelson the luxury of using their bucket truck to hang the lights, a task daunting either way, but it would be next to impossible without the help of modern day equipment such as the truck from MDU.

The whole job, according to Fortner, takes about three hours to completely decorate the tree even with the bucket truck. The truck only needs to be moved once to get both sides of it covered in the decorative lights.

Due to harsh weather, two-thirds of last year’s light supply were destroyed. Cold temperatures and high winds of last year’s winter caused the damage to the decorations. Fortner said this year the tree will feature over $450 worth of new lights. The new lights have LED bulbs and will be much more efficient to run, given the tree is set to be lit 24 hours a day.

The strands of lights hanging on the tree this year is roughly 1,000 feet, according to Fortner. Fortner also said bringing power to each little bulb is about 150 feet of extension cords.

Also assisting in the effort was a small crew from Slope Electric.

Usually Nelson has to move his truck from one side of the tree to the other, but with the extra help, Slope Electric set up their own bucket truck on the opposite side of the tree, adjacent to American Bank Center’s drive thru road.

The lights were illuminated during the Annual Christmas Shop and Celebration festivities on Dec. 7.

Share this post