Thursday Dec 15 2011
Downtown Christmas decorations get brighter
By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
City adds incandescent lights to trees
Driving through downtown Roseville this past week, one might have noticed that the trees look a little bit brighter. That is because the city — and many downtown businesses — say they were initially unhappy with the way the city’s holiday decorations turned out this year. Following complaints from several downtown merchants, Roseville city workers began adding white incandescent lights around the trunks of the trees in the downtown area last week. “The city did a good job of fixing it,” said Scott Alvord, president of the Downtown Roseville Merchants, Inc. “It looks really nice.” The city initially used white LED lights this year wrapped around light poles in an effort to save money and save the light strands, according to Jamie Carlson, of the public affairs and communications department for the city of Roseville. “Both the city and the merchants were disappointed in the effect of the white LED lights,” Carlson said. Carlson said the city was already in the process of evaluating the next steps when the downtown merchants expressed their disappointment with the lights. In previous years, the city decorated the branches and the tree tops, which resulted in about 300 light strands having to be cut down at the end of the season, and a $2,500 loss to the city, Carlson said. This year, the lighting was done so that the light strands can be used again next year, Carlson said. And it doesn’t stop there. Carlson said the city plans on adding to its collection of light strands each year to expand the festive atmosphere on Vernon Street, a prospect which Alvord said he thinks is “cool.” Alvord said there has been a lot of positive feedback and appreciation from downtown business owners since the changes went up. “We are pleased that they responded to the request to change it down here,” Alvord said. “And we have a very nice looking downtown now.” Alvord said that the traditional incandescent lights look better than the LED lights, which tend to give off a sort of “blue” hue. Roseville resident Janey Moffitt said that while she likes LED lights because they are more energy efficient and offer more color options, she still prefers a traditional look. “I still have the old ones,” Moffitt said. “Until they go out, I’ll have the old ones. I enjoy the ones that I have.” Her mother, Raynette Fuentes, of Tracy, said that traditional incandescent Christmas lights induce a sort of nostalgic feeling from Christmases past. “I like the look of the old ones,” Fuentes said. “Not everything old is bad.” Toby Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.