Though most reminders of the recent holiday season are gone, some Christmas decorations still linger throughout Aiken. Employees with the City of Aiken's Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department are currently in the process of removing the holiday decorations. They began on Dec. 29, according to Phil Berley, with the PRT department. It will take City officials about three weeks to a month to take down all the trimmings from light displays, which were used for Christmas at Hopelands, to the Christmas tree, which sat in the center of downtown at the corner of Laurens Street and Richland Avenue. The garland and bows on the light posts downtown, and the decorations on the Washington Center for Performing Arts will also be taken down soon. Thus far, PRT workers have been working to remove the decorations from Hopelands Gardens. In addition to the light displays, City employees have also cleaned the buses used as shuttles, have taken down donation boxes and cleaned out the park's work rooms and concession areas. The wet weather has been an issue with removing the decorations in some cases, according to Berley. Some of the decorations have had to be set aside to dry before they were taken apart and stored so they would not rust from the moisture. The downtown tree has also been removed. The holiday decorations at Hopelands went up on Nov. 1, and took a month to install. Those downtown took about two days to put up. Once all the decorations are taken down, they will be stored at the PRT Department's Park Operations Center located on Banks Mill Road. Decorations for the Washington Center are stored at the Washington Center. SClB