Holiday Lighting Committee preparing to light up downtown once again

While Halloween is right around the corner, parts of Elizabethton are already preparing for their annual Christmas celebrations, especially downtown’s holiday lights, but the city needs its community’s help in order to accomplish its goal.

Joe Alexander said the annual tradition has gone on for roughly two decades, and over the past few years, an added project has coincided with them.

“We are in the middle of a refurbishment project,” Alexander said.

The lights cost roughly $7,000 for Twin City Decorating to install throughout downtown, leading the Holiday Lighting Committee to seek sponsors from the community.

Patrons can give $150 per pole ornament in order to sponsor it, allowing the patron a sign on which to print their personal name or their business’s logo. Currently, roughly 30 ornaments still need sponsorships this year.

Many of the cast-iron ornaments have required new coats of paint and other refurbishments, further highlighting the need for sponsors so they can wrap up the rest of the refurbishing.

This cost, he said, comes from normal wear and tear of the elements.

Of the $7,000 needed to put the lights up every year, Alexander said the city and county fund roughly $4,000 of that, meaning the committee has to fundraise $3,000 just to put the lights up at all, not including the $5,000 they still need to refurbish everything else.

This local mainstay has become a crucial part of the holiday festivities for the community.

“It is heartwarming to see people’s responses,” he said. “It has become part of the Christmas tradition.”

Alexander said the lights have also become a reason for people to come outside and spend time in downtown during the holidays, even if the stores are not open.

Those interested in sponsoring an ornament can do so either for themselves or in honor or in memory of someone else.

Potential sponsors can contribute by forwarding any donations to the Holiday Lighting Fund at 612 East Elk Avenue, Elizabethton, TN 37643.

Those with questions can call 423-543-2221 to reach his office number.

Alexander said they plan to set up the lights sometime next week.

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