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The city of Woodstock provides holiday decorations on light poles throughout the downtown area and hires a contractor to string lights on 20 trees in the downtown business district.
The contract to light the trees costs $29,680, and the city provides the lights for the contractor, Public Works Director Jeffrey Van Landuyt said. The lights were bought this year for $14,000.
City employees have strung lights on smaller trees and bushes in the Park in the Square and Sesquicentennial Park. Public Works staff logged about 100 hours on this project alone, Van Landuyt said.
Overall, decorations for the city are managed by the Public Works Department and the Woodstock Opera House.
Van Landuyt said the decorations can stress the trees in the Park in the Square, so the city cuts off the string lights instead of physically unstringing them.
"As a result, we use incandescent string lights on larger trees and cut them off, and then use LED strings on lower [or] smaller trees and bushes and pull them off and reuse them," Van Landuyt said. "LED string sets cost about 25 percent more than incandescent, and the string lengths of LED are shorter."
Decorations on light poles have not been replaced in 12 years, and unless the city decides to use a different design, the snowflake decorations should last at least 25 years.
Van Landuyt said decorations help the city showcase the community for visitors, and it's the city's hope that visitors look to settle in Woodstock by purchasing a home or starting a business there.
In 2015, the Woodstock Opera House and Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House were lit for the first time as part of a $170,000 project to replace the old lights on the Square, Woodstock Opera House Managing Director John Scharres said at the time.