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Provo is aglow for Games

Center St. homes along torch route are hanging lights

SHARE Provo is aglow for Games

PROVO — When Louis Crandall's neighbors asked him to decorate his historic Center Street home for the Olympics, he blew a fuse.

A couple of them, actually.

Turns out volunteers from Brigham Young University stringing white lights across Crandall's roof put too many into the same outlet, blowing several electrical fuses at Crandall's home.

Crandall says the problem will be fixed shortly and the house will be aglow come Feb. 5 — the day the Olympic torch relay is scheduled to roll down Provo's Center Street.

Crandall and 88 of his Center Street neighbors have hung matching white lights from their homes, creating a glowing pathway to the Peaks Ice Arena, a hockey venue for the Winter Games.

Center Street is also the route athletes and their families will use to get to the Peaks.

"We're so excited," Crandall says. "We would do anything for the Olympics."

Like many of his neighbors, Crandall borrowed the lights from Neighborhood Housing Services, a non-profit group that coordinated the project with Provo city.

NHS used a $5,000 grant to buy the lights and has also offered Center Street residents who participate in the project a $30 voucher to pay power costs.

Melissa Massey, who lives a few blocks from Crandall, decorated her home with lights and also plans to unfurl a "huge" American flag in front of her house as well as a flag from Norway and England before the Olympics.

NHS has already sold about 140 flags and several flagpoles to Center Street residents.

Volunteers have also planted trees and participated in downtown clean-up projects in preparation for the Olympics.

"We're kind of treating the Olympics like family from out of town is coming to visit," said city spokesman Michael Mower.

In addition to the lights, Provo leaders recently installed two new entry signs that include Provo's Olympic logo.

City workers also recently completed a roundabout on Center Street that includes seven flagpoles and a brass sign that welcomes Olympic visitors.

E-MAIL: jhyde@desnews.com