Lighting up the holidaysThousands of lights lie in wait, ready to burst to life Saturday in Poplar. The village’s annual tree lighting will include cookies, hot chocolate, a bonfire, caroling and a visit from Santa himself.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Thousands of lights lie in wait, ready to burst to life Saturday in Poplar. The village’s annual tree lighting will include cookies, hot chocolate, a bonfire, caroling and a visit from Santa himself.
“Come out and have a good time,” said event organizer Terri Nelson.
Once again the community has rallied together to put on the seasonal party. Local businesses, individuals and the Poplar Wentworth Lion’s Club donated money to place a dedicated power pole at the park on Main Street. Poplar Hardware and community members have stepped up to provide lights. Local bakers are whipping up dozens of cookies to share, and Village Market owner Darlene Nevin is donating hot chocolate.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said of the annual event. “I just hope everyone comes out and enjoys themselves.”
In Superior, the annual holiday tree lighting is scheduled to take place Thursday night in Center City Park, 1501 Tower Ave. The free event will also include a sing-along, refreshments and a visit by Santa Claus.
Nelson, her husband Brad, his brother Brian and Bud Peterson trimmed the village of Poplar’s nearly 80-foot tree Friday in the snowy park. Ed Grube lent them a bucket truck for decorating purposes. Even with the truck, Brad Nelson had to stretch with a pole to place the topmost lights.
In 2010, about 500 people stopped by the park along Main Street to see the tree light up. Last year, the weather outside was more, well, frightful.
“It was kind of cold,” said Audrey Hakkila of Poplar. She said the community members spent most of their time visiting and staying warm by the fire.
Those who have attended the event said the best part of the night is the moment when Santa Claus comes driving up on a fire truck. He passes out candy to the children, and lights the tree.
“I think it’s so nice that it’s something the whole community gets out to do together,” Nevin said.
A donation box will be set up again this year for the Rural Care and Share Food Shelf, which provides food to families in need through monthly distributions at Peace Lutheran Church in Poplar and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Iron River. In November alone, 81 families picked up food in Poplar and more than 70 families received food in Iron River.
“It’s always this way this time of the year,” said Bette Hanson, food shelf coordinator in Poplar. Numbers pick up in the cold weather.
Although non-perishable food items are appreciated, monetary donations stretch further because Rural Care and Share works with Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank to purchase food at a discount. If people do choose to donate food, Hanson suggested peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, soup and hot and cold cereals. Anyone wishing to donate money to the food shelf, which is supported by 13 rural churches, can send a check made out to Rural Care & Share Food Shelf to Peace Lutheran Church, PO Box 345, Poplar, WI, 54864.
The cost of the dedicated power pole was a little steeper than organizers had anticipated.
Donations are still being accepted to cover the remaining $250 owed on the pole. Checks can be made out to the Village of Poplar, PO Box 155, Poplar, WI, 54864.
The village tree will be lit daily from dusk to about 11 p.m. through Dec. 31.