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CBC lights up town for the holidays
Christmas had arrived in Frankenmuth, thanks to the City Beautification Committee (CBC), area businesses and residential home owners.
A total of 57 percent of the CBC’s annual budget is dedicated to Christmas decorations, from the parks and star streamers to street light poles and Cass River bank.
CBC spokesperson Sheila Stamiris, the city’s Downtown Development Authority director, said the committee made its annual tour of town Monday evening and gave Scott’s Tree Service a thumb’s up for their work within the city limits.
Last year, the biggest changes took place along South Main Street, from Cass Street north to Tuscola Street. More lights, as well as snowflakes, brighten up that district.
This year, the CBC concentrated its display efforts with reworked concepts in Triangle Park (Weiss and Jefferson streets), Scout Park (Jefferson and Flint streets), on the west entry to the city on Dehmel Road and the south entry on Main Street near Eischer Road.
“We are working best to manage what we already have in our warehouse. Plus, our inventory was recently enhanced with gently-used displays donated to us by Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. Bronner’s also has many new displays on their store property.
The good news is that much of Bronner’s donated items are LED, meaning energy savings for the city. In some cases, the bad news is making them work electronically with the city’s existing wiring.
Main Street also received new snowflakes, from the Main Street Bridge to Cass Street.
“The snowflakes are a great winter choice, enabling their display to extend through Zehnder’s Snowfest,” Stamiris pointed out.
The Nativity Scene if Edwin Zehnder Park continues to be a favorite for guests and residents alike. For the second year, the crèche was brought closer to Main Street.
Other traditional favorites include the carolers and lights on the Gunzenhausen Fountain Platz, the old, red sleigh in front of the Frankenmuth Historical Museum, refurbished and donated by Jerry and Bev Kabat, and the Bethlehem scene along the Cass River bank.
“With the new look to the river, with all the rock, it looks more like Bethlehem than a riverbank in Michigan,” Stamiris said.
The CBC work is benefitted by the investments made by private citizens throughout the community. Once again, the McClellan family has decorated street trees Cass Street north. Horace Allen of Allen Tree Farm of Bridgeport donated live greens and two trees to fill out the town’s vignettes.
𠇋rilliant trees strung with thousands of lights sparkle in yards of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth and Rapunzel’s. Frankenmuth Insurance continues its breathtaking Christmas display,” Stamiris noted.
Stamiris also singled out Scott’s crew for their installation, removal and most importantly, maintenance of the decorations.
“Scott makes regular visits to take care of displays; a monumental task considering the area. Displays can be plagued by weather and wind, aging connections and wiring. Decorating Christmas in Frankenmuth is like decorating your home – times one hundred,” Stamiris exclaimed.
𠇍uring our town tour, we went down Jefferson Street and passed two beautiful homes, sparkling with thousands of lights and we all commented about remembering that childhood joy of riding in the car with mom and dad to look at the lights. Wally Bronner always looked for ‘Joy’ in our community displays. We continue to miss his leadership on the committee,” Stamiris added.
Recently, CBC fundraising letters have been mailed and fundraising has been going well. So far, the CBC has received more than 250 donations during the fall campaign, including those made in tribute to retiring City Manager Charlie Graham in September. Payments for electricity, the purchase of new lights (including energy-saving LEDs), the refurbishing of pole and display trims and overall maintenance requires funding.