Trees to light up trail during Christmas on Historic Broadway

By: 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Angie Boysen’s singing “O Christmas Tree” — times at least 15.

Boysen is organizer of the first annual Christmas on Historic Broadway Trail of Trees, a collection of decorated trees that will line the bicycle trail through Spring Creek Park on Saturday, Dec. 7, during Spring Valley’s Christmas celebration. The featured trees will be contributions of local businesses, organizations and individuals who have chosen to string up some lights and add their own flair to the boughs. 

So far, she has 15 businesses and organizations that are planning on setting up a tree. They will be able to decorate the trees however they would like, putting them up Saturday morning and taking them down Sunday after the community celebration is over. She’s not yet aware of any themes as the participants are in charge of their own ideas, but she said she is hoping for a lot of lights and creativity. 

“I’m not 100 percent sure in feet or yards how much room there is, but my plan originally was to place them on both sides of the loop, starting at the Spring Creek Park pavilion,” Boysen said. “If we overflow after that, we are eventually going to try to work our way down to Broadway to join the rest of the activities, however, I don’t expect that this year.” 

The idea stems from the time she “stumbled upon a small tree setup in Harmony that had just a few trees from various businesses, and, I think, from their school age childcare,” she said. “It wasn’t lit up but had different freebies for people to take off the trees that gave a bit of advertisement for the company, and I run our trail quite often and thought to myself while running through the park, ‘How great would it be to have the trail lit up with Christmas trees?’”

Boysen invited anyone who’d like to participate in the Trail of Trees to do so. 

“I believe it’s a great activity to do with your coworkers and fellow members of organizations to bond, as well as give the ambiance we are looking for during Christmas on Historic Broadway,” she said. “It’s a great way to show our community what’s available and represent each of our businesses and organizations.  Living in a small town, we are often labeled by our occupations or the organizations we belong to.  How fun to display that in a Christmas theme for everyone to enjoy.” 

People will be able to vote for their favorite tree by placing a ballot in a voting box available in the pavilion. The business that gets the most votes will receive a paid annual membership to the Spring Valley Chamber.  If an organization or individual gets the most votes, the prize is Spring Valley Dollars.

Organizers have discussed technical considerations about tree safety measures for Trail of Trees contributors who wish to see their trees remain upright throughout potentially wintry weather. 

“With the ground possibly freezing, we think sandbags or cement blocks might work, and maybe putting the tree into a tub or bucket,” she said. “As for decorations, they might just want to keep them waterproof.”   

The Trail of Trees promises fun for everyone who takes a wander through the park. 

“It’s just a festive event for our community to enjoy. I’m working on getting a few youth groups — that would fundraise for their organizations — to possibly sell hot chocolate or cider to enjoy while people stroll through the park,” Boysen said. “People will enjoy the Christmas lights and the creativity each tree will display.  I’m hoping for snow, but not enough to make it miserable. And I am excited to see my vision come alive, as well as see the expressions on people’s faces when they stroll through the trees.”     

For more information on the event or how to participate in the Trail of Trees at Spring Creek Park on Saturday, Dec. 7, during Christmas on Historic Broadway, contact Boysen at angie_boysen@yahoo.com or 507-440-8374. 

“Don’t hesitate to contact me to enter, even if you are a last-minute planner,” she said. “I really want to see this event come to life and hopefully grow each year.”