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Holiday decorations already up in La Crosse, Onalaska

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) –  It’s a controversial question this time of year: When do you put up your Christmas and holiday decorations?  Some people may be feeling it’s too soon, but two local cities have already started decorating.

If you’re driving through the streets of downtown La Crosse, you may notice a little twinkle in the sky.

Robin Moses of Downtown Mainstreet Inc. said, “During the hometown holiday season you want to have that feeling of Christmas where you go. It’s something that isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for the winter season.”

The city has already put up some snowflakes on Main Street, Pearl, 3rd and 4th Streets. It’s the first phase of holiday decorating. But it’s a little earlier this year.

“About a week early, we needed to work with contractors and when they are available usually we put them up the week before our holiday open house,” said Moses.

They are adding some new snowflakes this year at a cost of $25,000. It’s provided by the La Crosse City Vision Foundation, a 501(c)3 partner organization for Downtown La Crosse.

“This was a larger investment so we’re hoping that each downtown business puts something towards this to help beautify the streets of downtown,” added Moses.

Beautifying the streets is also a priority a few miles away in Onalaska. John Staut, the charter member of Centering Onalaska, said: “The motto that has kept us going is building community pride.”

Staut got this all started 24 years ago. “Early on we had live garlands so to put them together we had a dozen or so people cut wreaths and wrap them in lights.”

Today, they have LED lights and more than 60 wreaths around town. It’s all provided by Centering Onalaska, a group that raises money to help enhance downtown. But the work of putting the decorations up goes to the Public Works Department.

Patrick Clements, President of Centering Onalaska, said, “These guys are out there trying to get ready for winter so they get them up when they can on their schedule.”

That’s why the wreaths are up a little early this year and at the same time as the Fall decor.  “Little earlier people may say, but can you ever be too early for Christmas?” asked Clements.

Regardless of what holiday you’re celebrating, or which city you are in, those who are responsible for the decorations hope you feel the spirit of the season.

Both cities have holiday celebrations coming up. In La Crosse, the Downtown Open House is Friday, November 8 from 4 to 8 p.m.

And in Onalaska, they will celebrate on Thursday, November 21 with an event for kids to color with the Police and Fire chiefs, visit with Santa, and light the big Christmas tree near David Raey’s restaurant around 6 p.m.

Brittany Lake

Daybreak Anchor

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