The evergreen Christmas balls that decorate County Road each year always need some tender loving care before they are hung by Flower Power: A Barrington Beautification Project.
In short, the organization needs some volunteers today and Wednesday to take the balls out of the storage trailer, check each bulb, fluff the bows, and make sure each one of the balls has not lost its ornaments.
“It’s very labor-intensive,” said Deb Barton of Flower Power, who coordinates and manages the annual checkup. “It’s a lot of work.”
Each of the 126 Christmas balls includes 200 lights. Each bulb has to be checked. Do the math.
In years past, said Barton, one-third to one-half of the bulbs had to be replaced. But Flower Power shifted to a heavier bulb last year, which helped to cut down on the swinging in the wind, so Barton anticipates fewer bulbs to replace this year.
“It’s the swinging that always breaks the bulbs,” she said.
Three shifts of two hours each have been established: 9 to 11 am, 11 am to 1 pm and 1 pm to 3 pm.
Some volunteers stay around and do more than one shift, Barton said. But Flower Power would appreciate any help it can get – even if you can only do one shift. Six to 10 volunteers are needed for each shift.
“But we’re just asking for people to volunteer for one shift,” she said.
The work will be done in a truck bay in the rear garage at the public works facility on Upland Way. DPW workers set up tables.
“As soon as they are checked,” Barton said, “they go right back into the trailer.”
Flower Power will hang the Christmas balls the weekend after Thanksgiving.