Ask an Official: City administrator discusses history of city holiday decor
This week’s featured question reads:
“I’m curious how long the city’s traditions of decorating has been going on, like the snowflakes around town in the winter, flower baskets in the summer and the wreaths on the courthouse as a few examples. I think it’s absolutely beautiful and really sets Merrill apart from other communities! Does the city also help its many departments with decorating or is it a To Each Their Own sort of thing?
Thank you and a Very Merry Christmas to you and all of our wonderful city staff!”
Answer as given by Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson:
“I can recall driving through Merrill with my parents when I was a young child in the late 1950s and there were Christmas lights on Main Street. In talking with some older residents I was told that they recall downtown Christmas lights in the late 1940s, so Christmas lighting downtown has a long tradition in Merrill. The area where Christmas lights are placed has expanded to outside of the downtown area in more recent years. Each of the City departments do their own decorating in City Hall and other facilities. The large wreath on the courthouse lawn is courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce. The Wreaths on the Courthouse are courtesy of the Hanging Basket Committee.
“You may have noticed Merrill Welcome banners that were up for a short time this fall that were an initiative of Alderperson Mary Ball. They will be going back up next year.
“The beautiful flower bed plantings and hanging flower baskets are provided by the Merrill Gardeners and Hanging Basket Committee. The beautiful plantings in the 900 block of 1st St. are provided by Ace Hardware. It is through the efforts and dedication of individuals, groups, and businesses that our city is made a more attractive place to live and visit.
“I would like to thank all those who contribute to making Merrill a better place to live and visit.“