FARGO — An estimated 200,000 white and blue sparkle lights are providing a holiday feast for the eyes in downtown Fargo this year.
The lights were put on the trees in the warmer days of September and October by a local company called Christmas Decor, lit in early November and will brighten downtown through the winter months.
Chris Schlepp, operations manager for the Business Improvement District, said the downtown businesses that are part of the district are paying for the estimated 80,000 to 100,000 lights that adorn 35 trees along Broadway, providing a dramatic look to one of the city's focal points.
This year, another 10,000 lights were added to the 20 larger trees planted in the new Broadway Square Plaza next to the Block 9 building along Broadway. The lights were purchased by Block 9 Partners, including the Kilbourne Group and the R.D. Offutt Co.
Adding to the downtown feast for the eyes are the blue sparkle lights that cover the trees around the Gate City Bank downtown.
Ashley Ness, who works for Christmas Decor, said there are an estimated 90,00 lights in the bank's display.
Ness said Christmas Decor, which helps with holiday lighting at residences and commercial buildings throughout the city, has a crew of about 20 to 25 people who put up the lights each year.
Schlepp said the city started the tradition of lighting up Broadway in 2014 and said he hears "lots of compliments" from residents about the display.
He said they are kept lit 24 hours a day and will stay lit until March or possibly even April until they are taken down again.
Schlepp said there would have been even more lights downtown, but two big trees by Sammy's Pizza and the former King House Buffet had to be taken down this summer because they were deteriorating from the inside.