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This holiday season was bright in historic downtown North Bend, due in part to increased lighting of the new – and still growing - street trees. Thanks to the generosity of the North Bend Downtown Foundation, an extra strand of lights was added to each tree located on the sidewalks between Ballarat Ave and Bendigo Blvd, which dramatically brightened downtown streets.
After seeing the difference these additional lights made in the historic corridor, some business owners approached the City, asking to keep the trees lit even after the holiday season ended. City officials agreed and earlier this month made the decision to keep the trees bright until the end of February.
Mayor Rob McFarland said, “There are some positives that will come from the pandemic, including the importance of extra lighting in our downtown core during the dark winter months. We hope leaving the lights on will brighten up our town, and bring extra joy to residents, throughout the dark winter months.”
The traditional light pole holiday snowflakes and garland will be removed in early January, but the warm white lights on the growing sidewalk trees will remain.
McFarland said this extended lighting tradition is likely to continue in future winters. He added, “It is my hope that each year as we set the clocks back in early November, our downtown street trees will be strung with lights and remain on through February.”
[Currently it is only possible to light the trees between Ballarat and Bendigo, as these newer trees had electrical conduit placed at their bases when the Downtown Plaza renovation project was completed in 2019.]