“Peace on Earth” exhibit to shine again in Bay City alongside annual Christmas tree
BAY CITY, MI – While the coronavirus pandemic may have cast a shadow over 2020, the holiday lights will shine in Bay City to bring hope and joy this winter.
Bay City’s annual Christmas tree will be installed in Wenonah Park. The tree will make its way to downtown and the park on Monday, November 23, and will be illuminated at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 27 as part of this year’s annual holiday exhibit.
“It’s to make someone happy for a change,” said organizer Dave Clements.
Dave and Sally Clements have a tradition of finding a tree to place in Wenonah Park every year. This year’s tree came from Essexville and was donated by Eugene and Sandra Hebert and Steven and Jodie Hebert.
The Clements are in their fifth year of researching and planting a tree, but this year will be a little different from the past due to COVID-19.
For example, Santa Claus normally stops in Bay City on this day for lighting the tree and singing Christmas carols with the children, but due to the pandemic, he will not be able to make an appearance. After all, he’ll want to stay healthy to give gifts this Christmas.
This year it will just be a matter of plugging in the lights and letting them shine. However, Dave Clements said if people got outside they should take precautions during the pandemic.
“If people show up for this, that’s good,” he said. “If people show up, please follow all COVID procedures.”
The tree will also be accompanied by LED snowflakes on the light poles in Wenonah Park.
Two additional light displays, which are a blast of the past for some Bay City residents, will also appear. A large globe inscribed with “Peace on Earth” will be installed in Wenonah Park. The display was originally part of the Bay City River of Lights vacation display. This event ended in 2008.
Clements brought the room back to life, working through bent and rusted steel, rotten parts and having to put new lights on it. The globe will have 1,700 LED bulbs. Clements estimates that he has spent over 200 hours on the screen.
Clements previously saved the great Santa and reindeer light exposure also from the roof of the FP Horak building before the building was demolished. The display is also taken from the River of Lights display and it was originally associated with the Peace on Earth globe atop the FP Horak building.
On Thursday, November 19, the Santa Claus exhibit took up residence above the Bay County Historical Museum, 321 Washington Ave. The globe will shine from the recently renovated Bandshell Wenonah Park. The placement was intentional, Clements said, adding that someone driving across the Veterans Bridge to the east should be able to see all of the pieces on the display.
“Due to COVID, it might take some families in their cars to take a ride to see a beautiful Christmas tree, to see the two screens, to see the snowflakes,” he said.
Both screens will be lit next to the tree on Friday, November 27.
The exhibit was made possible this year by many community organizations.
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