Celebrating Christmas in Wymore
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Residents in Wymore are marking the holiday season with a downtown light display that’s been put up every year since 1957.
“There’s 12 strings. It’s about a 100-foot string, so roughly about 1,200 feet of garland and lights,” Wymore Public Works Director Tim Sedlacek said.
Putting up the lights is always a big task for the workers with Wymore’s public works department. Throughout the year, the lights are stored at the city shop. But when Christmas time rolls around, they are brought out of the boxes, and checked for any needed repairs. Getting them ready can always be a challenge.
“I’d say anybody that puts up Christmas lights on their house, just multiply that times a tremendous amount, and that’s the work it takes to keep them up and going,” Sedlacek said.
Brad Breunsbach has been involved with putting up the lights for 29 years.
“I’ve been involved, instrumental, in rebuilding them totally twice,” Breunsbach said. “First time we started was in 2002. We re-strung, re-garland the strings, painted the little balls, replaced the bulbs, whatever you know we could do, and could afford.”
Not only does Brad play a role in helping keep the light display maintained, he helps make the process up putting up the lights festive. He makes sure the city utility truck is property decorated for the annual tradition.
“The truck is our backbone of the city, the light department and everything. This baby does it,” Breunsbach said.
As you might imagine, this display brings out the Wymore community and people from other towns to see the twinkling lights hanging across the street in downtown Wymore. City officials say one of the reasons the Wymore display is unique is the lights are actually draped across the street. “A lot of people comment on it,” Sedlacek said. “You see a lot of people on social media and stuff. They will drive down and take a look at them.”
Wymore residents hope the lights can serve as a tourism attraction, and help bring people into the town. People who’ve been in the community for years say the process of seeing the lights illuminated each year never gets old. “When we are on main street putting them up, a lot of people drive by and give us the thumbs up,” Sedlacek said. “They are glad to see them going up I think.”
“It’s always been a special deal,” Breunsbach said. “The council, they try to budget what they can and we work with that. When I was a little boy, there were always lights there. Maybe not maybe as neat of looking as they are now, but that was 30 years ago, too.”
Because the decorations have been here for years, and because they have history, the public works department and the city as a whole, takes plenty of pride in them. “The wind is hard on them, but we’ve got them fixed up, and we manage, and we don’t have too much of a problem,” Breusbach said.
You might say that these lights help onlookers forget their problems for a little while. And from 5 p.m. to 12 p.m. each night in December when the lights go on, it’s magic in Wymore.
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