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Story City celebrates 106th tree lighting; Video of event offered on-demand

Ronna Faaborg
Story City Herald
Story City held its Yulefest celebration on Friday.

Story City celebrated Yulefest on Friday, but things looked quite different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The city celebrated the 106th tree lighting of Story City's downtown Christmas tree. The tree lighting ceremony was live-streamed on Facebook. It can be viewed on-demand on the Facebook page, "Story City Greater Chamber Connection, a Main Street Partner."

Pastor Andrew Potratz and Heston McIlrath performed music for the Yulefest celebration, which was live-streamed on Facebook.

Mayor Mike Jensen, accompanied by his granddaughter Savannah, welcomed viewers and encouraged face masks and hand washing, so hopefully everyone can gather for the Yulefest celebration in person next year, he said. 

He thanked Shirley Knous, who donated the tree, and the employees at Story City Municipal Electric for setting up the tree and stringing the lights.

The GCC's mascot Sven was one of the few people present for the tree lighting on Friday night. The event was virtual due to the pandemic.

"It puts the downtown in a festive mood, and that's what we want," Jensen said. 

Pastor Andrew Potratz on guitar and vocalist Heston McIlrath provided music for the event.  The Grinch and the GCC's mascot Sven were in attendance for the tree lighting as well. 

The Story City Fire Department held its annual soup supper as a drive-thru event on Friday.

The Story City Fire Department held its annual soup supper, but this year the event was a drive-thru, and volunteers handed soup and goodies to people in vehicles as they passed by. The fire department accepted free-will donations for the meal, which is a fundraiser that benefits the fire station each year. 

Present for the downtown tree lighting on Friday night were, left to right, Pastor Andrew Potratz, Mayor Mike Jensen and his granddaughter Savannah, GCC assistant director Shanon McKinley, GCC president Marian Olive and vocalist Heston McIlrath.