Annual tree-lighting kicks off Holidays in the Grove

The Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce will have a new, improved light display for its holiday tree when it flicks the switch at the annual tree-lighting ceremony this Friday.

The white star will sit atop the tree, as always, said Howard Sullivan, the chamber’s executive director. It used to be accompanied by strings of white lights, but those gradually burned out. For the past two years, the Chamber has wrapped the tree’s trunk in colored lights, but “I always thought the tree was incomplete,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan and Lyle Spiesschaert, who sits on the chamber’s holiday light committee, went down to ZooLights together and talked to its lighting planner to get ideas.

Then one day Spiesschaert showed up at the chamber office on Pacific Avenue with a 25-inch, circular, colored light ornament that had been part of the city’s old holiday street decorations (which were provided by the chamber). When the city upgraded its street decorations, the chamber put this and 36 other such light ornaments in storage—where Spiesschaert finally dug them up.

Last Saturday, with help from Forest Grove Fire & Rescue and from David Hunter, the city’s arborist, the light “ornaments” went up into the chamber’s Christmas tree. After a trial run late Thursday night, they were turned off to wait for the public tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, in front of the chamber, 2417 Pacific Ave.

The lighting will be followed by caroling, cookies and a visit from Santa at the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center, 2037 Douglas St. For more information, call the chamber at 503-357-3006.

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