HUMBOLDT — The hard work of local youth and others will grace a new addition to the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce’s Festival of Light – a spruce tree decorated for the holidays.
The jingle tree is filled with ornaments made and donated from people around the community.
“We put out a call to daycares and schools and what we received was an overwhelming response of about 150 of these wonderful big jingle tree decorations,” said Brent Fitzpatrick, executive director of the chamber.
“The greatest pleasure is doing the little things that make complete strangers happy. So being able to drive around this tree and look at the work… It’s just incredible.”
He said some of the decorations include little campfire ornaments, snowmen and stars.
“It’s quite a collection, it’s really something to see. When you put a 160 of anything on something, it’s very hard to miss,” he said. “Nixon Electric will be stringing lights to the top of the tree, so it will really shine as a beacon as you’re driving through Humboldt. You’ll be able to see that tree.”
While the new addition is one they plan to continue in future years, Fitzpatrick said it wasn’t without challenges.
“Our little ladder couldn’t get us quite high enough,” he confessed. “So next year, absolutely, I want it to grow, the vision for me is we decorate it all 45 feet to the top of it. That’s going to require some help, but for this year I think it’s an absolutely stunning spot.”
Fitzpatrick encouraged anyone who wishes to add a decoration to the jingle tree to bring it to the Chamber of Commerce office.
Ornaments are planned to be saved and continue to be displayed in future years.
The Festival of Lights will run from Nov. 19 to Jan. 7.
This year, the festival has about 24 sites that are lit up across the historic campground.
Fitzpatrick said each individual business put up a display that reflects their respective business, such as an RV and truck covered in lights for the South 20 Dodge Chrysler & RV Centre display.
“You can come in anytime but it’s a light display, so it’s better to come in when it’s in the evening.”
The Festival of Lights serves as an annual fundraiser for non-profit groups in the community.
“Non-profit groups this year are really taking it on the chin financially, and their normal sources of revenue are not there this year,” Fitzpatrick said. “So this is a way for those businesses to get some cash flow. We’re not able to give the big gift we were before, but we want to give more little gifts to more groups just to spread out that joy a little bit.”