This year the holiday lighting display on Lincoln Trail or County Road 14; about midway between Lindstrom and North Branch, is doing double duty. You can drive through or walk the grounds and appreciate the magic of hundreds of lighted decorations and support local Boy Scouts at the same time. It’s a win-win for Mark Koran, property owner and holiday lighting master, who said after contacting a couple area organizations to partner with him this year he is really happy to have found the Scouts most willing to cooperate. The sun was shining and the ground was bare of snow but there was a finger-numbing breeze over the two days after Thanksgiving when Center City Troop 135 helped with set-up.
Hundreds of individual items had to be hand-attached to re-bar posts in the ground. Three foot tall illuminated candles line the circle driveway and each one requires a piece of metal strapping looped over a post that the boys had to attach with a battery-powered screwdriver. Then extention cords had to spread out, connected and any malfunctioning illuminated figures addressed. There are triangle-shaped trees at the property edge along County Road #14 that are made of welded metal, and woven with mini-lights. They are timed to flash different colors in intervals. Each had to be tested and single bulbs or whole strands of lights replaced if needed.
For some people this would be the stuff of a recurring Holiday nightmare, but for Koran it’s a beloved family tradition. He still has items circa 1958 from his grandfather’s holiday display. A son comes to help. Koran has built his display by watching for whole decorative collections being sold during the off-season. He keeps the budget in check for the most part and has even combined pieces of figures to make his own creations. The closest thing he’s found for mouse-proof storage is a metal shipping container. With 26 members, Boy Scout Troop 135 from Center City has seen a lot of growth in the last few years. Members attend events, do community service projects, go on camping trips, and it all costs money. You’ll find the Troop donation box on a post, right alongside the circle drive-thru of the display, so you don’t even have to get out of your vehicle to help support the Scouts.
Whatever you can give would be appreciated. Of course, you are welcome to come, park and walk around if it’s a nice night. Koran will have a campfire lit. He likes sitting around outdoors and meeting visitors, hearing the littlest kids’ squeal with delight in seeing one of their favorite characters, he added. The lights are on and access is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays, and on Friday and Saturday nights you can enjoy the display from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. The lights will be turned off January 12.