Seriously, I feel like we've been working on holiday decorations for a LONG time. And I guess if April feels like a long time ago to you my sentiment is justified!
One of my takeaways from 2017 is the community has a lot to say about holiday decorations. The DACC has been organizing and funding holiday decorations for the community for as long as I've been a part of the organization. And this may date me a bit, but that's been at least 20 years.
In the past, the holiday season was a time that I bribed my son's friends with pizza and silver cord hours if they would help me prep decorations. We pulled all the wreaths down from the shelves. Remove them from boxes. Check lights. Replace lights. Fluffed up the branches. Line them up by the door for the Street Department. We checked hundreds of light strands and replaced several bulbs. Trust me, it was a filthy, thankless job. Except for the pizza.
The beloved wreaths and garland of the past were very worn and deteriorated to a point of being unusable. I'm happy to say we were able to recycle most of the materials. Strands of lights that were still functioning have been saved for future use.
Which brings me back to April. After processing all the feedback on the 2017 tree lighting project downtown, it was time to rally people to create a new vision. We formed a committee and debated the pros and cons of owning decorations versus outsourcing the project. The lists were long. Ultimately it was decided that owning the decorations and supplies was the way to go.
Ownership also means we need to plan for all the behind the scenes stuff. We will store the decorations here at the DACC office and prep them for display each year. We will also need to continuously seek donations to properly maintain and replace when needed.
For today, the new decorations are up and I can't wait to see them lit up after dark today. Sometime right after lunch....thank you day light savings time!
A huge thank you to the local SSMID Board (Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District) and the Depot Outlet for providing generous contributions that allowed us to place an order by August 1st. And of course the Street Department crew for their time in putting the decorations up.
If you enjoy them too, consider a donation. Private funding is the only way we will be able to expand and maintain this project.
I sincerely hope the 2018 holiday season is full of family, food, laughter, and friends for all of you!