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Watch now: Decatur Park District prepares for Trees on the Tees

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Trees on the Tees

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Greg Murrell works to hang lights at Hickory Point Golf Course for the Decatur Park District’s Trees on the Tees on Dec. 9-12 and 15-19 at Hickory Point Golf Course. The holiday activity will include walking or cart-riding one-mile trail of decorated trees and snacks with a light show and performances.

DECATUR — When it comes to wintertime activities, spending time on a golf course in Central Illinois isn't usually an option.

That is, unless, viewing trees decorated for the Christmas is something you might enjoy.

The Decatur Park District’s Hickory Point Golf Course will once again host Trees on the Tees.

The festivities will be Dec. 9-12 and 15-19, and will include walking or riding in a cart down a one-mile trail filled with decorated trees. Snacks and dance performances will add to the fun. Tickets still are available for various times and dates.

Shortly after the park district advertised the event, the sponsorships and tree decorating spots were sold out. In response, more tickets were made available for attendance.

“The community is really owning this one,” said Jamie Gower, director of recreation and facilities.

The park district offers other family friendly events popular with the community, including Boo at the Zoo. “Trees on the Tees are one of those,” Gower said.

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Crews have been working for weeks putting up lights and other items around Hickory Point Golf Course in advance of the Trees on Tees event. The sponsoring groups will decorate their trees in the days leading up to the event, which starts on Dec. 9.

The event was offered for the first time last year during a holiday season that encouraged social distancing. “People are excited. They want to see this back again,” Gower said. “We’re just getting families out there together.”

More decorated trees were added to this year’s event. Tickets sales quickly rose this year as well. “Once ticket sales started selling like hot cakes, we met as a committee and decided to sell more slots for the cart riders,” Gower said. “Our goal is to keep it family friendly, reasonably priced and to continue this festive event every year.”

Santa Claus will have his own house with the opportunity for families to communicate with him through a glass window. This feature was used during the pandemic. “We’ll do that again, just to keep the distance,” Gower said.

The park district’s maintenance crew, along with members of the Decatur Buildings and Trades, have been preparing the grounds by hanging lights and preparing the trees as well as setting the stage for the dancers. “All of that is kind of extra, beyond the trees themselves,” Gower said.

Businesses, organizations and families will be allowed to start decorating their trees Dec. 6 and 7. “It’s all hands on deck,” said Clay Gerhard, Decatur Park Districts executive director. “We’re putting things in motion.”

Christopher Eads was stringing lights along the pavilion eaves weeks before the opening day. “This is going to be one of the premiere spots right here,” he said.

The pavilion will house the shows and snacks and hot cocoa. The area will be fully illuminated, Eads said.

“I think there are a thousand lights on this pavilion alone and they're all going to be synced with the music,” he said. “It’s going to be pretty impressive.”

Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR


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