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Parade of Trees applications available until Nov.4

AMERICUS — Residents wishing to brighten the holidays for or pay tribute to loved ones in the military in 2015, will have the opportunity to do so at the third annual Parade of Trees in Americus.
The event provides a way to remember relatives and to honor men and women serving our nation who are unable to be home for Christmas. The City of Americus provides 6-foot-tall trees and tree lights that will fill Rylander Park on West Lamar Street. The lighted trees will be on display from Nov. 19 through  Dec. 28.
Applications to adopt a tree will be accepted through Nov. 4. Applications can be picked up at the Americus Welcome Center, 101 W. Lamar St., downtown.
“We are excited to be doing the Parade of Trees in Americus for the third year in a row,” said Ben Andrews, interim executive director of the Downtown Development Authority and the Americus-Sumter County Tourism Council Inc. “The first year we had 30 participants, and each year the event has grown in popularity. It’s a great way to honor our service members while decorating our downtown for the holiday season.”
Individuals, businesses, families, churches, schools, or groups can adopt a tree. The city provides a laminated personalized sign for each tree so that participants can showcase, remember, promote, memorialize, honor, market, share a cause, display talents, or participate in the event just for fun.
Participants can choose one of two options for their tree this year. Option 1 allows participants to decorate their tree with their own decorations for $50. Option 2 allows the city to decorate a tree with the participant’s decorations for $75.
As a general rule, the city does not have a problem with lost items. However, participants are reminded that Rylander Park is a public park, so participants should not display items that they are unwilling to part with. Trees will be monitored on a regular basis. Participants are asked to check their tree occasionally as well.
Those who adopt a tree are encouraged to have fun, be creative and enjoy the experience. Plastic items work best on the trees, and all items should be secured to endure windy conditions that can occur in November and December. Participants can place marketing or gift items including pens, pencils, key chains and novelties on the tree for the purpose of people removing them.
Individuals are not allowed to add lights or make any alterations to their tree, including cutting, painting, or spraying snow. No tinsel or glass items are allowed. Any photos that are used on the trees should be copies and not originals.
The first day to decorate a tree is Nov. 6. All trees must be fully decorated by Nov. 14. Participants are reminded to use items that will last for 50 days. All decorations must be removed no later than noon on Dec. 28.
The City of Americus will not be responsible for any items left behind, and participants may be subject to a $10 decoration removal fee. Removing all items is a requirement for participants to be entitled to adopt a tree in 2016.
For questions or more information, call 229-928-6059.

— Submitted by Americus-Sumter County Tourism Council Inc.