New holiday light display coming to downtown Eau Claire

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Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) - A new holiday tradition is in the works for downtown Eau Claire.

For the first year, a non-profit group is hoping to bring some twinkle to the downtown area, through a holiday light display

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. is calling the show, “Let It Glow”.

The organization is hoping to begin the light display the first week of December and continue it through mid -February to make everything brighter for visitors and businesses in the area

Promotions Coordinator Salina Heller says, “A holiday light display gives people a sense of pride, a sense of community. “

Heller says plans are in the works for a holiday light display decorating the Phoenix Park area.

“We want to give it a little punch in the winter time and make it a place that people can enjoy and go to enjoy the park through the winter months as well,” says Heller.

A small test run with two trees has already proven successful says light coordinator, Sean Malone.

“There was one guy that came over the bridge and said it looked spectacular walking across the footbridge and seeing the trees over here, says Malone. “I think I only had one tree done at that one point!”

Malone says the final effect should be much more impressive with up to 28,000 lights in the park this winter.

There are plans to deck 18 trees out in power efficient LED lights leading to the downtown footbridge.

Malone says it will be worth it, “To have people come through and be excited, and have someone tell me it's about time to see something happening down here. It adds a little bit more life around the area.”

Owner of downtown business “That’s Adorable!”, Beth Schwartz says she agrees the lights should bring life to the area.

“Events like this remind people that we have a downtown that's alive and vibrant,” says Schwartz.

Schwartz says she hopes that the light display will draw more families to the area and create more traffic for business.

But in order to maintain the display, Heller says community donations will be needed. She says, “We're really relying on the community to support this endeavor of ours because it's for everybody to enjoy.

The donations, Malone says, will keep the holiday spirit alive.

He says, “I've always loved Christmas. I love Christmas lights, it's kind of why I do what I do. But, just to see that excitement and just to see the kids across the road blinds opening up, peering out to see what's going on, it's kind of fun to see that excitement building."

Heller says the project is expected to cost $18,000 funded by donations.

She says she plans to continue to grow the light display, hoping the lights will cross the footbridge and connect with the display on Barstow Street in further years.

And if you'd like to donate to the project, or even sponsor your own tree, you can contact Downtown Eau Claire.

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