It's a Christmas tradition that almost didn't happen this year. Every year the city of Merrill kicks off the holiday season with a parade and tree lighting ceremony at the Lincoln County Courthouse. But in the last two years storms have destroyed the very trees the City lights, leaving the chamber wondering how they were going to have a tree lighting with no trees.
Luckily they found a way around the problem by hosting, what the chamber calls, an "Adopt-A-Tree" program. Instead of decorating pre-existing trees, the chamber brought in 16 trees from a Christmas tree farm. Then they asked local businesses and community members to adopt and decorate them, getting the community more involved in this tradition than ever before.
"The great thing about it is that you've got this forest that you can actually wander through, see the trees up close and that's different because before the big pine trees just had lights on them," Merrill Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbe Kinsey told NewsChannel 7.
Kinsey says the community has really embraced the "Adopt-A-Tree" program and that the chamber is thrilled with the way the trees turned out.
All of the trees were donated by the Northwoods Evergreen and Wire Company located just outside of Merrill.
Santa will light the trees this coming Saturday following the City's Christmas Parade. The parade starts at 5:00PM. It will begin at the corner of Genesee and West Main Street and will end in front of the courthouse.