THREE LAKES - In many communities, it doesn't feel like the holidays without first lighting a tree. In Three Lakes Friday, that meant more than 3,000 lights on a 95-foot tree.
The tree-lighting ceremony was a part of the 21st Festival of Lights. You could also find Santa and Mrs. Claus among the crowd.
Three Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Skip Brunswick says the goal of the event was to get people together and build on community.
"We just enjoy doing this, with the tree lighting, Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus, the live reindeer," Brunswick said. "We get a good turnout, free cookies, hot chocolate, chili, hamburgers, and hot dogs. It's just a great event and of course we got snappy weather today, but that's the Northwoods."
Organizers needed a little bit of help from the Three Lakes Fire Department and its ladder truck to actually get the lights on the tree.
But even with the truck, putting lights on a tree that tall isn't easy.
"It gets a little hairy when you're 105 feet in the air and if the wind's blowing, like we had bad wind storms last week, we lost six lines," Brunswick said. "[Then we] had to come back and put brand new ones back on again."
The fun, though, doesn't end on Friday.
The Thee Lakes business community will host the first annual Jingle Mingle on Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The area will offer special holiday discounts, free snacks, hot drinks, longer operating hours and other activities
Brunswick hopes the Jingle Mingle can help the community continue to grow together.
"Let's try and put some of the negative situations that are going on in the country behind us," Brunswick said. "Let's pull together, join together, and pray for peace."