Downtown Houlton illuminated as a winter wonderland

HOULTON, Maine — Houlton’s Monument Park has once again been transformed into a winter wonderland as thousands of holiday lights now illuminate the park.

Members of the town of Houlton’s Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments, as well as several private volunteers, spent the day Nov. 17 stringing the massive number of lights along tree trunks and branches to create the visual spectacle.

The idea to decorate Monument Park originated with Fred Grant, owner of WHOU radio in Houlton, last year as a way to help brighten what had otherwise been a dreary season as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the nation.

This year, the town took on the decorating project at Monument Park.

“Last year, Fred and his crew did a wonderful job decorating Monument Park and we are trying to build on that,” said Nancy Ketch, community development director for Houlton. “The town has taken inspiration from what was done last year and is trying to build upon that.”

The park features a number of picture boards that can serve as “photo-ops” for people. An ornately decorated sleigh with a moose, owned by Russell Stairs, has also returned, but there are also a few new pieces.

The town purchased a new light attraction dubbed “The Elsa,” as it is inspired by the popular Disney movie “Frozen.”

Ketch said the town felt it was important to continue the popular attraction this fall.

“Everybody loved it last year and we were so appreciative of the work Fred (Grant) and his crew did last year,” Ketch said. “People needed it and loved it. And they still do. It’s just a wonderful community effort that everyone can enjoy.”

HOULTON, Maine — November 20, 2021 — Haley Nickerson (left) and Marie Carmichael of the Houlton Parks and Recreation Department string lights on a wire moose Nov. 17 as part of a decoration project at Houlton’s Monument Park. For the second straight year, the park has been transformed into a holiday light spectacle for people to enjoy. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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