116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Marion is set to unveil its new community Peace Tree during this year’s Christmas in the Park and Peppermint Walk event.
The event is from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday in City Square Park.
The tree is the biggest purchase the Marion Chamber’s Leadership in Action class has ever raised funds for, coming in at around $70,000. The 30-foot LED panel tree will be located in the center of Uptown Marion’s park.
The 30-foot LED panel can be programmed to change colors, light patterns and be synced to music.
The new tree replaces the city’s original Peace Tree, a real tree that was gifted to the city in the 1990s during the Gulf War to symbolize a “bright wish for a more peaceful world.”
The tree has become a main piece of the city’s annual Christmas in the Park event, which began in 1993. Other, smaller trees have taken its place over the last few years since the original tree died.
Christmas in the Park is celebrating its 30th year this year, which will include Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving at 4 p.m., escorted by the Marion fire and police departments. Children will be able to visit with the Mr. and Mrs. Claus and place letters in Santa’s mailbox.
In addition, attendees will be able to enjoy popcorn and cocoa, sing along to carols with the Heart of Marion Community Choir and School of Rock students throughout the night and meet an alpaca.
Donations of new hats, mittens, blankets, or socks are being accepted for the Keep Your Neighbors Warm campaign. Items can be dropped off at the caboose the night of the event or delivered to the Marion Chamber of Commerce office, 1070 Seventh Ave., through Dec. 9.
In conjunction with Christmas in the Park, Uptown Marion Main Street will host its Peppermint Walk, which is a local holiday shopping event.
In 2020, the chamber and city added light decorations on two of the city’s main roundabouts on Seventh and Sixth avenues.
“It’s all grown out of the desire of the community,” Mayor Nick AbouAssaly said at a past city council meeting. “It all helps draw people to Uptown and helps the businesses. It just creates a happy atmosphere in the city and, hopefully, creates memories for people too.”
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