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'Flip the Switch' to turn on Christmas magic Nov. 27
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Garland is going up along Main Street. The city’s Urban Forestry Division began beautifying decorative poles on Friday. Pictured is Hank Patton, the city’s landscape manager, and Urban Forestry employee John Austin in the bucket truck. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

A lighting ceremony will be held Saturday, Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. to honor the hard work of city employees in decorating downtown McMinnville with Christmas lights.

Flip the Switch, the name of the lighting ceremony, was approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. 

“This communication is from Main Street McMinnville,” said Mayor Ryle Chastain in reading the letter. “They wish to hold a Flip the Switch event. Everything will be lit, except the tree. The tree will be decorated and lit during Junior Auxiliary of McMinnville’s Christmas in the Park on Dec. 7.”

Board members unanimously approved the request.

“We’ll meet on the grassy lot at 5 p.m. to celebrate the hard work of the Urban Forestry team which transformed our downtown into a Winter Wonderland with thousands of Christmas lights,” said community planner Katie Kemezis, who coordinated the event with Main Street McMinnville. 

According to city landscape manager Hank Patton, who oversees the yearly process, there are approximately 90,000 lights in the display.

“We will do a count when we finish up,” said Patton.

The Christmas tree, the centerpiece of the decoration effort, is slated to be placed on The Lot on the morning of Nov. 22. This year’s tree is being donated to the city by Panther Creek Forestry owner Ben Myers.