On Oct. 19, roughly 100 volunteers from IBEW Local 38 , joined by family and friends, gathered in Public Square to help string Christmas lights throughout the square.
IBEW Local 38 Business Representative Jim Embrescia said a little more than half of the
Local 38 volunteers seem to come back every year to string lights. These lighting veterans do it for the camaraderie, but also to give back to the city and happily show the new volunteers the ropes.
The Local 38 volunteers, Embrescia said, feel a great deal of pride knowing the Local takes on a project, which showcases and displays their dedication, expertise and commitment to Cleveland.
This year, volunteers hung just over 531,000 lights on 4,500 strands, which will illuminate Public Square in Christmas glory throughout the holiday season. General Electric donated all the lights.
Embrescia described the work as fun, especially as Local 38 members often get a chance to work with fellow members they have not seen or worked with in a while. It provides them a chance to catch up and even crack some jokes and tell some stories while they hang holiday lights. The volunteers also enjoyed great weather, as temperatures climbed into the 70s during a cloudless afternoon.
The hard work by the Local 38 volunteers will be on display for the first time during Winterfest, which is Cleveland’s official Christmas lighting ceremony and kick-off of the holiday season.
Thousands are expected to attend the lighting ceremony or other portions of the all-day Winterfest event.
The public is invited to come down to Public Square on Nov. 30 for a festive and fun day and then stick around for nighttime entertainment, which includes the Christmas lights being turned on for the first time.
For a complete listing of all Winterfest activities, visit the Downtown Cleveland Alliance website.