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Going green for Christmas

MILLERTON — The evergreen tree at the junction of routes 22 and 44 was decorated with roughly 3,000 LED Christmas lights on Friday, Dec. 2, by a group of volunteers.

Deemed the “beacon of Millerton” by Townscape, the town’s enhancement group that performs the decorating and plantings throughout the year, the tree went “green” this year with its red and white illumination.

LED Christmas lights consume roughly 10 to 15 percent of the electricity used by traditional incandescent Christmas lights. They are also rated to burn for 50,000 to 200,000 hours versus only 3,000 hours for incandescent lights.

“We wanted them to be more environmentally correct,” said Townscape President Chris Kennan, noting that the group did a lot of research on LED lights before making the $3,000 light purchase.

Kennan and his volunteers worked hard to decorate the tree, which included removing several strands of old lights and clearing dead vines that snaked through the branches.

“To have a tree that’s big and bright and cheerful is helpful,” said Kennan, noting that it brightens the season despite the hard economic times. “It’s important for people at this time of year.”

Kennan said Townscape raised money to cover the costs of the LED lights, the electricity and the cherry picker truck used to hang the lights, but donations from the townspeople are what made the tree lighting possible.

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