The large tree in Spring Valley, located near the tourist information center, has a star this year. Sunday evening, luminarias added to the lights with candles below.
The large tree in Spring Valley, located near the tourist information center, has a star this year. Sunday evening, luminarias added to the lights with candles below.
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A good crowd turned out Sunday night for the annual Love Lights a Tree ceremony, now in its 22nd year in Spring Valley.

Diane Schwarz, aided by her husband, Jerry, and Wes Peterson, was the honorary person to light the tree this year.

The tree had a bright star on top this year, an additional touch of the Spring Valley Public Utilities crew, which prepares the tree for lighting each year. The luminarias had a wood block, instead of sand, so they could be reused and stand up to wind, which was pleasantly absent Sunday evening when the temperature was above freezing. The Our Savior's Lutheran youth group and the Rev. Dennis Timmerman set out the luminarias Sunday afternoon.

The tourist information center was open for a headquarters to server apple cider. The Spring Valley Kiwanis helped with the program. Also, Shirley Gangstad led the group in singing Christmas carols.

As always, Lew Flattum and Rick Ascheman announced the donors, each with a luminaria representing the person's honor or memorial.

Loretta Ascheman, who organizes the event each year, has always had a goal of $1,000.

"I am short this year and wonder if those that didn't give beforehand would like to donate now," she said. "I know it might be tough, but even a dollar would help."

Donations may be sent or dropped off to Ascheman at 810 Crestwood Court, Spring Valley, MN 55975.