By EMILIE THIESSEN
Upsala residents can look forward to new traditions this holiday season.
From 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, the Upsala Community Development Commission (UCDC) will host the first annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Upsala City Park.
“We wanted to do something to get more of the city involved,” Upsala Council Member Joan Olson said Monday.
The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. when Santa arrives on a city fire truck. The tree will be lit at 6:30 p.m. and apple cider will be served after the ceremony. Olson said she hopes the UCDC will also be able to arrange carolers.
“We will see how this goes, and, if it needs to be bigger and better next year, we will expand,” Olson said.
The City Council approved an allocation of $200 to fund the event, which will cover the one-time fee of purchasing the lights for the tree.
“I think this is great,” Upsala Mayor Rollie Johnson said. “Get some more activity going in this area.”
Olson said the UCDC also decided to change Upsala’s annual house decorating contest to an annual City of Upsala Decorated Tree Contest, something she hopes will prompt more people to participate.
Like the house decorating contest in previous years, Olson said Upsala residents can submit photos of decorated indoor Christmas trees to the city by Dec. 19. Photos can be submitted in an e-mail or in person at the city hall.
The first place winner will receive $50. Second and third place winners will both receive $25. The Council approved an allocation of $100 during its most recent meeting to cover the costs of prizes.
The next meeting for the Upsala City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, at the Upsala City Hall.