You know the holidays are near when Litchfield public works and utility crew members take over downtown to install the city's classic garland.

That day arrived last week, and the lights are expected to be on in time for Thanksgiving.

Hanging the Christmas decorations usually takes about 14 people and is completed in a day, according to Public Works Director Mario Provencher. Prior to that, however, a couple of staff check every light — nearly 3,000 of them — during the summer to ensure they're still in working order.

All told, there's about 250 hours of work that goes into the project that brightens the city throughout the holiday season.

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