Hamel Co-op was the recent Santa in the Park tree winner in Hamel.Hamel had its fourth annual Santa in the Park competition recently and it has become an entrenched tradition during the holiday season.

In the recent contest, a total of 226 voted, 14 business and community groups participated and Hamel Co-op emerged the winner. All the trees were displayed in front of Hamel Village Hall.

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Hamel Village President Larry Bloemker said people in the village look forward to the Santa in the Park contest each year.

“For a town of 816, we had a quarter of our population voting for their favorite holiday tree,” he said.

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Bloemker has been village president for four years.

“We put a lot of focus on building the community and giving,” he said. “We have Trick or Treat in the Park, Movie in the Park and Santa in the Park. Any community this size has this closeness.”

Businesswise, Hamel continues to expand and grow, evident with McDonald’s expansion into the village.

“We have always been very strong on the business side,” he said.

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