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GRAM not setting up holiday tree downtown this year

Posted at 4:08 PM, Oct 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-06 21:14:09-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Downtown Grand Rapids won’t be quite as festive this Christmas, due to budget restraints.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum usually sets up a holiday tree outside its building at Rosa Parks Circle.  Representatives from the museum say they would have to spend about $50,000 this year to replace the 50,000 LED lights that they’ve used on the tree every year since 2006, so they’ve decided to forgo the tree this year.

Representatives from the museum say if funding becomes available in the future, they’d consider resuming the tradition.

The museum sent this statement Tuesday afternoon:

GRAM appreciates the outpouring of support for the holiday tree, and we would love to continue to help our community celebrate the holidays. Unfortunately, at this point in time GRAM is unable to expend the resources necessary to coordinate a successful tree lighting this year. If an individual or organization is able to finance and procure 50,000 commercial-grade LED lights by the end of the week— as well as a tree—we will gladly host the holiday tree for the City of Grand Rapids once again.

Supporters have set up a  GoFundMe page hoping to continue the tradition at the GRAM.