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200+ displays, including tree honoring Girl Scouts, getting prepped at Irvine Park

Chippewa Falls (WQOW) – Holiday cheer is being built at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls. Later this month, the park will be shining bright with Christmas lights, but before that can happen a lot of work needs to be done.

By Thanksgiving, it will be filled with over 100,000 lights and over 200 displays.

Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Dick Hebert said it costs $8,000 to power the pomp and circumstance and it is all paid through donations.

“It’s a huge community event,” Hebert said. It’s gotten bigger and better every year because the community not only gives a monetary donation but it also gives, more importantly, their time to make this work.”

Jean Arneson is one of the artists who designs the displays and has been around since the beginning. She said countless hours are spent to bring create Christmas wonderment for the community.

“It’s just worth it when you see the families and the kids and everyone come through and walk through, especially the little ones, and it’s such a tradition for so many families,” Arneson said.

Hebert said hundreds of volunteers have helped out with this project but they still need more help.

Information on how you can get involved can be found here.

While you are taking in the displays, you will notice there is a display and Christmas tree in memory of the Girl Scouts and mother who lost their lives last November while picking up roadside litter.

The tree, dedicated to Haylee Hickle, Sara Jo Schneider, Jayna Kelley and Autumn Helgeson, is inside the welcome center of the park.

Mary Brunstad, one of the Christmas Village volunteers, said members of Girl Scout Troop 3055 and their families were able to see the tree for the first time at Saturday’s remembrance walk.

“I was really doing it for the girls in that troop and it was so nice to see their smiles,” Brunstad said.

Brunstad said the Christmas display and wreath with the Girl Scout logo will be located near the duck pond and lit up green.

Shannon Satterlee

Shannon Satterlee joined News 18 in February 2018 as a Multi-Media Journalist.

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