Those lights that turn colors every couple of seconds are the brainchild of Mary Mitchell, owner of Fat Chix Gifts on Beechtree Street. She’s a big supporter of Grand Haven’s Eastown.
Mary worked with the city to string up nearly 20 lights on the tree in Bolt Park, the little city “pocket” park at the corner of Beechtree and Pennoyer Avenue.
“The city has been super-supportive of all the fundraising efforts Fat Chix Gifts has done over the years to help spruce up and revitalize Grand Haven's east end,” Mary said. “Matt Holzinger of Holzinger Electric worked hard to install underground electricity to go to the tree.”
The nearly 20 lights are LED, so they are designed to last a long time. Still, they do burn out, as one already did since they were first turned on late last fall.
“Bulb replacement is one of the few maintenance things, along with cleaning them, when we take them down in the spring, but that's about it,” Mary said.
There is a remote control to turn them on and off, but the color sequence has to be reset each time if the remote is used, so the lights are on 24/7, Mary explained.
“Which is nice because you can start to see them as the sun sets,” she said.
The plan is to change the colors for Valentine's Day and then when spring rolls in. Mary plans to take them down in the spring and put them back up again every holiday season so they remain a special thing and are not there all of the time.
For the past few summers, Fat Chix Gifts has been holding Eastown fundraisers to generate funds to decorate Beechtree Street for the holidays. Most of the fundraising cash was generated by hosting a monthly dinner in the Fat Chix parking lot in the summer. One of the best dinners, Mary said, was the "Brinner" (breakfast plus dinner), when local restaurants and chefs like Electric Hero, Meals for a Week and even Mayor Geri McCaleb contributed their best pancakes.
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