LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The 2012 Rotary Lights display opens Friday at Riverside Park – and as you make your way through it, you'll notice Christmas trees decorated by various local schools and organizations.
The La Crosse Area Astronomical Society is decorating a tree for the first time.
Member Bob Allen said it's a unique fundraising opportunity – as Rotary Lights provides the tree and electricity, and the groups who opt to decorate one are also paid a fee.
They merely have to provide the decorations.
Allen said the astronomical society's tree is decorated with planets and stars because astronomy has a special meaning to the Christmas holiday.
"I'm going to be giving a talk on the Christmas Star in the ice palace tent this year," Allen said. "If you really go back to the origins, the star of wonder, as it's called, is a mystery."
"We don't know what it really was, but it puts astronomy into the Biblical story of the birth of Christ," he said.
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