The holiday-themed decorations in downtown Portage la Prairie during the holiday season and beyond will be able to shine a little brighter this coming fall.

The Holiday Avenue Project worked alongside the Portage Community Revitalization Corporation to hold garden tours, where community members could admire the city's most unique gardens. Co-chair Karen Faurschou says eight gardens, plus the multiple areas at Island Park, were available to be toured.

"It was self-directed," explains Faurschou. "You bought a ticket with the program directions, and you just went to people's yards and just enjoyed their hard work. We really strive to get a variety of gardens, from primarily vegetable gardens, to banana tree gardens, and everything in between."

The Holiday Avenue Project received $2774.24 from the tours, which will be used to make the decorations for this coming holiday season even more stunning.

"We're doing a mock-up of what it will look like every year," notes Faurschou. "It's a learning curve, what works, what doesn't work, and we're at the mercy of the elements. We're going to be trialling what looks good and what withstands the elements throughout the year."

They plan to kick off their work by putting a fall spin on the downtown area, followed by Remembrance Day, then jumping into the holidays.

PCRC's community engagement coordinator, Lorna Knight, says, due to the success of the tours, they'll be planning to make them an annual fundraiser.

"We sold out of tickets completely this year," says Knight. "They will be keeping that in mind next year when they select gardens and they're always looking for beautiful gardens within the area, so reach out to the Holiday Avenue Project."