Minden Christmas lights in March

Minden turned on the city’s Christmas lights Monday night in an effort to boost morale during the coronavirus pandemic.

MINDEN, Neb. — Birds were chirping, green grass was beginning to poke through the ground and the Christmas lights were turned last week in Minden’s town square.

Spring has sprung, but the City of Minden decided to turn on the town’s iconic Christmas lights to bring a little hope to the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Marcy Brandt, executive director of the Minden Opera House, had put her own Christmas lights back up on her house and posted it on her Facebook page with a Bible verse from John 1:5: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

A conversation began on Brandt’s Facebook page about how the town should turn the Christmas lights back on. The city typically waits until this time of year to take the lights down in order to remove them in milder weather, and they actually were scheduled to come down last week.

“The guys set a date and they rent these … lifts. It’s kind of a big process. Taking them down is a big relief for them,” said City Administrator Matt Cederburg. “Everything worked out fabulous when we got a request from the Opera House, chamber and some business folks to turn them on.”

Cederburg said this is the first time he can recall the lights being turned on this late in the season.

People were driving around last Monday night to see the Christmas lights, and a video of the lights by the Minden Chamber of Commerce had almost 5,000 views on Facebook.

Minden residents also are taking the initiative and putting lights back on their houses. About half a dozen houses are lit up in town, Brandt said.

“I just think any symbol of hope, anything we can do to make this a little lighter for everybody is a good thing. We are all in this together,” Brandt said.