BELGRADE, Mont. – The holiday spirit is in full force in Belgrade, as some of the city’s residents gathered Sunday morning to string up lights through downtown for the upcoming Festival of Lights.
This year’s Festival of Lights will feature fan favorites, like the Gingerbread House Contest, shopping, Santa Claus, the Jingle Jog 5K, and new this year: a memorial lights arch.
While the memorial lights have been a part of the Festival of Lights for years, this year, anyone wanting to pay tribute to a loved one can buy a string of lights that will go on a specially designated arch downtown.
Last year, the tradition brought about 40 extra strands of lights to downtown Belgrade. You and your loved one’s names will appear on a poster at the festival, on the event’s website, and will be included on a page in the Belgrade News. It’s $20 for a string of lights in the first year, and $10 for every year after.
Although the strings of lights, lit-up spheres, and decorative banners may not start glowing until the big December 14th lighting, for many, they’re the first sign of the holidays in town.
Board Director for the Belgrade Community Coalition, Tiffany Maierle, says people are getting excited about what’s to come.
"It's fun just to hear the buzz around town for people getting ready for the festival and the lights to be on,” Maierle says, “and then everyone's really sad when we have to take them down in January.”
The event is always looking for volunteers and sponsors. You can sign up and find out more about Belgrade’s Festival of Lights by clicking here.
The festival will take place on Saturday, December 14, 2019.