ST. CLOUD -- A fresh new string of lights is a symbol for a bright future in downtown St. Cloud. A group of business owners and community members gathered on 5th Avenue Wednesday to celebrate the addition of the decorative festoon lights that are being installed.

Shannon Wiger says they first got the idea of putting up the lights about a year ago.

It's really exciting to actually see the lights up.  It's one of those things that seems like a little thing, but really it's not, it's a symbol of what happens when a community comes together and works together and we have big visions.  Hopefully, this is a catalyst for more exciting things to happen.

Bernie Perryman with Batteries Plus Blubs says she was happy to be a part of a grassroots project with other community members.

When I drove up here today, driving up the canopy of lights I just got goosebumps because it is a symbol of not what is going on but the who.  All these people doing the work, it is inside them that they want to do this for our community.

The lights are strung atop the buildings along 5th Avenue from St. Germain Street south toward 1st Street South.

Festoon Lights, photo by's Jim Maurice

Proceeds from last year's Fifth Ave. concert series along with donations from businesses made this project a reality. The festoon lights were donated 100% in-kind by Bernie Perryman and Batteries Plus Bulbs, and the installation was completed in-kind by Design Electric, BCI, Inc. and Inventure Properties. The concert series is coming back this summer with live music outside under those new festoon lights every Thursday evening starting on June 6th.

They will officially flip on the lights for the first time this Friday evening during the Earth Day Run.