Signs of Christmas in October: Nation's largest 'tree' goes up in Duluth

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It may only be mid-October, but preparations are already underway for another year of Bentleyville Tour of Lights.

The nation's largest LED tree is now standing tall at the Bayfront Festival Park, thanks to Local Iron Workers 512 and other groups that helped installed the 128-foot structure Saturday, Bentleyville's Facebook page shows.

The tree has over 100,000 LED lights, which are animated to music throughout the free Christmas-themed event, which begins Nov. 21 and runs through Dec. 27, WDIO reports.

It may seem early for some, but for those in the area, the large tree is a sign that Christmas is just around the corner, Russ Whitehouse, who helped install the tree, told Northland's NewsCenter, noting the tree is "putting Duluth on the map."

Last year, a record-setting 240,000 visitors attended the event, organizers estimated, thanks in part to the mild weather throughout December.

Bentleyville isn't the only organization preparing for the holidays before Halloween. Earlier this month, Christmas music started playing on the radio in Duluth – it's called Ho Ho 106.5 FM, and when the holiday season is over, the station says it'll keep playing the tunes year-round.

The Christmas creep

It happens every year, but the holidays seem to start earlier and earlier every year as Christmas displays go up alongside Halloween costumes.

It's a retail trend that's likely here to stay, TIME Magazine reported, and while some argue it's "too early," others say starting before the flakes fly is the smart thing to do.

Organized Home has six reasons to start planning for the holidays early, including the ability to take control over holiday decision making; having time to plan and save for gifts, instead of using credit cards; and it gives people time to make handmade holiday gifts.

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