This year visitors and locals alike will see the Crosslake dam lit with Christmas lights and decorated for the holiday season.
The Crosslake Economic Development Association (EDA), Brainerd Lakes Chamber in Crosslake and the Crosslake-Ideal Lions are working together to make the project a possibility.
The Lions have agreed provide a matching grant of up to $5,000 for the effort to make the town brighter and more beautiful this season.
Patty Norgaard, EDA chair, hopes the effort will help make Crosslake a destination for families and holiday shoppers.
“But this is not a one-time thing,” Norgaard said.
The plan is to expand the program every year, adding more features as time goes on. The hope is to light up many of Crosslake’s landmarks, including the historic log village, the community center and the Northern Trackers Railroad building.
Norgaard said that lighting up the town will support the EDA’s established guidelines for what residents want from their city: to live in a beautiful city, have a great school, preserve trees and water, be a year-round sustainable economy and have good medical facilities.
Cindy Myogeto, director of the Crosslake office of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, said funding is coming in, and she, too, hopes the project will grow to include all of Crosslake’s landmarks. While the project is called “Light up the dam” this year, she hopes it will become “Light up Crosslake” in future years.
Norgaard told the Crosslake City Council on Monday night, Dec. 9, that $650 has been donated so far. Any money that isn’t used this year will be used to expand the project next year.
All the materials to light up and decorate the dam this year were purchased locally through Crosslake Ace Hardware.
Decorations include lights across the dam with a large wreath in the center, lights on the fence on the fishing pier and the fence around the campground office, and red bows to decorate the area.
A team of volunteers plans to meet at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at the campground office to decorate. If needed, they’ll also meet at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. The group welcomes volunteers who wish to join and decorate.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to light up the dam can bring checks to the Brainerd Lakes Chamber office in Crosslake or send them to P.O. Box 315, Crosslake, MN 56442.
“Everyone seems very excited,” Norgaard said.