by Dennis Dalman
In a shameless act of massive vandalism, 90 percent of the many artificial trees at the site of the annual Sartell Festival of Lights have had their light cords cut sometime right after Nov. 1.
That senseless act of destruction occurred just weeks before Sartell planned its grand opening on Nov. 24 of the Festival of Lights that takes place around Lake Francis near the Sartell Community Center.
The many volunteers, who strung the lights onto the many trees, are prepared to do that job all over again, using new or repaired strands of lights.
The Festival of Lights is extremely popular every Christmas holiday season, attracting thousands of residents and out-of-towners to walk around the lake and marvel at the spectacular beauty of so many radiant lights and decorations.
On the Sartell Facebook, people expressed disappointment and outrage about the vicious vandalism:
“Oh no!! This is so sad and angering . . . I will never understand this sort of behavior. Unreal.”
“It breaks my heart to see this. Who would do something like this and ruin it for all the kids and other families?”
“We would appreciate any donations. If you have any extras (strings of lights), drop them off at the Sartell Community Center.”
Anyone who wants to volunteer to help restore the Festival of Lights site should go online to: https://getconnected.unitedwayhelps.org/need/detail/
Donation money for new lights is being accepted via Venmo@CLFSartell.
If anyone has any clues as to who committed that act of rampant vandalism, call the Sartell Police Department at 320-251-8186.