First annual tree lighting ceremony in Bismarck

BISMARCK, N.D. - For the first time, Dakota West Arts Council, the Bismarck Event Center and other local businesses joined together to brighten up the holiday season.

The Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus and members of the community broke out in song in preparation of lighting the Bismarck Christmas Tree. Mayor Steve Bakken was there to flip the switch.

"I wanted to have some of the things that just really strike 'home town' and strike into people's heart what the season means," said Bismarck Mayor, Steve Bakken.

Mayor Bakken says he hopes this makes a tradition long after he's mayor. Montana Dakota Utilities paid for the lights in Peace Park to shine through the 2019 holiday season. Tim and Ramona Furlong provided a $15,000 personal donation to light the tree for the next three years.