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Holiday Decorations

Kay Colby, left, and Julie Kruger decorate a tree at The Music Man Square on Monday.

MASON CITY — Volunteers gathered for “Decorate the Square” Monday as The Music Man Square gets decked out for Christmas this week.

Board member Barbara Hovland heads up decorating for the complex.

“I love Christmas,” she said.

Hovland started decorating Thursday and has been powering through every day, attempting to decorate every inch of the square. The Meredith Willson House is decorated as well.

“We even decorate that bay window with a tree so it looks like someone’s living in the apartment up there,” Hovland said.

The volunteers worked hanging lights, building platforms and arranging the trees along the Streetscape. Her mother and other family members pitched in this year as Hovland directed fewer volunteers this year.

She only had six this year compared to more than 15 last year.

Businesses sponsor the Christmas trees and can either decorate them or let Hovland decorate them.

One tree was decorated with handmade ornaments created by an art class at Mason City High School.

The Santa’s Workshop area features working animatronics, some of which are antique. Hovland is working on a new decoration, an antique mannequin with a Christmas skirt made of branches.

All decorating must be done before the “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas” premiere Friday, an event with music, food and a first look at the Christmas displays.

“I’ll be here pretty much all the time between now and Friday,” Hovland said.

She hopes to bring in between 350 and 500 people for the event, where nonperishable items will be placed under the Christmas Giving Tree for donation to the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank.

The Music Man Square’s display will officially open Nov. 22, running through Dec. 31.

“It’s the largest Christmas display in the state,” Hovland said. “Most Christmas tree gardens run for a week or weekend.”

Hovland said the Christmas display brings out many visitors through the season.

“People just love it,” Hovland said. “It’s fun for the businesses; it’s fun for visitors.”

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