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  • Last modified 1348 days ago (Jan. 15, 2015)

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A new look for Central Park?

Staff writer

Nighttime motorists in downtown Marion may have noticed that Central Park recently took on a new aura.

The park lights’ red, white, and blue patriotic glow is the brainchild of city streets superintendent Marty Fredrickson and city electrical superintendent Christian Pedersen.

“We were changing out the red and green lights from Christmas last week, and Christian and I got to talking,” Fredrickson said. “I asked him what he thought about changing the lights to a different color.”

Pedersen liked the idea, and asked Fredrickson what colors he had in mind.

“I said, I don’t know, maybe red, white, and blue,” Fredrickson said. “You know, patriotic colors.”

Their conversation stemmed from an anonymous person’s comment who said they were happy to see the red and green Christmas lights up again.

“I guess the red and green Christmas lights used to be an old tradition in Marion that got lost somewhere along the way,” Fredrickson said.

City Administrator Roger Holter noted public response to the Christmas lights was positive.

“It’s a neat idea,” Holter said. “They’re contributing to a unique downtown atmosphere.”

They aren’t sure how long lights will remain red, white, blue, but Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day were noted as two upcoming holidays with potential for change. Pink bulbs might be used in October, for breast cancer awareness month, and orange for fall and Thanksgiving.

“We talked about changing lights for every holiday, but that might be too expensive,” Fredrickson said. “We’re also looking into LED lights that you can change color of using a remote control, which might work if we can program all the lights with one remote control.”

City crews initiated a bigger, more permanent change to the park this week when they started preparatory work for the new stage and restrooms structure to be built on the site occupied by the gazebo.

Digging started Monday to unearth and move a sewer lift station and utility lines serving the gazebo. Crews plan to use forklifts to relocate the gazebo near the creek.

Last modified Jan. 15, 2015

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