The air was brisk as Cortney Schaefer walked toward one of the historic light poles in downtown Fremont.
A lighted noble fir wreath with a red bow hangs from the pole – one of 150 wreaths being put in place before the holiday season.
This week, a crew from the Fremont Parks and Recreation Department has been busy hanging the wreaths.
Schaefer, executive director of MainStreet of Fremont, is clearly excited about the festive endeavor.
She believes Christmas decorations add beauty to the historic downtown area for tourists and patrons alike.
“When you see Christmas decorations, you know it’s the holidays,” she said. “It brings you into that Christmas cheer.”
Schaefer enjoys seeing the lighted poles which come on in the evening. That, along with white lights atop the buildings, add to aesthetics of the downtown area, she said.
This is the second year these wreaths have been placed.
In 2018, the Business Improvement District, MainStreet of Fremont and the Dodge County Convention and Visitors Bureau collaborated to procure the 150 wreaths, which cost almost $43,000.
That’s why a decision was made to continue the decorating process in phases.
“We would like all of our downtown businesses to know we didn’t forget about you,” Schaefer said. “This is a phase project that we hope to continue to expand on an annual basis.”
Schaefer said by decorating in phases, funds can be budgeted annually which is more financially prudent.
“Now, we’re able to continue from there,” Schaefer said.
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Garland, bought by the BID, is being added this year.
“We’re starting with 65 historic poles of LED lighted, pine-cone decorated garland to match the noble wreaths," she said.
Schaefer said it takes three to four days for a crew to hang the wreaths.
Kim Koski, parks and recreation department director, said recent sunshine and warm temperatures have helped with the wreaths’ installation.
“We had to wait to begin until after Veterans Day because of the American Flags downtown,” Koski said. “Once the Street Department got flags down, my crew was able to get started.”
Koski noted that some people might wish to see more time lapse before the wreaths go up.
“I do occasionally get the ‘it’s too early and not even Thanksgiving yet!’ comment, however the project needs to be finished by Nov. 30 for the annual Christmas walk,” Koski said.
Koski noted the time it takes to complete the project.
“This is a big project and doesn’t happen overnight,” Koski said. “It takes time and my crew has to maneuver a Bobcat around people, cars and other obstacles in the downtown area.”
This year, the project is a little less labor-intensive.
“Last year, we had to unbox and assemble the wreaths and attach bows and install brackets on the poles, but this year we just needed to hang the wreaths,” she said.
The lighted garland goes up after wreaths are hung.
“I have a great team working on this project,” Koski said. “I look forward to seeing how great it will look when finished!”