Plans for Nelson’s Festival of Lights have been scaled back after word came they would only receive $10,000 instead of the $30,000 requested from the city.
Maureen Crawford, along with her board of organizers, had planned to decorate all of the blocks on Baker Street in addition to various other Christmas events, but Crawford said plans have had to change with the funds allocated.
“We’re pleased obviously that we are getting something,” she said. “I would have liked a bit more to make a bigger impact, but you have to look at it from their point of view; basically I’m a non-entity. We just kind of surfaced and asked for money. I can understand them being cautious, but I’m hoping we do a really good job this year and they might dig a little deeper next year.”
The Spurway Fund was created for the purchase and upkeep of holiday and festive decorations and street decorations in the City of Nelson, and that is exactly what Crawford plans to do with the funds.
The Festival of Lights will expand on the existing lights on two trees on Baker Street and will approach businesses about lining the tops of downtown buildings with lights.
“We first envisioned lighting all the trees up on Baker Street,” said Crawford. “There was some kind of reasoning about why we couldn’t go through with that, but we compromised. We’re going to do the two trees, and do them really well.”
The group also planned on putting halos on all the lights to compensate for not lighting all of the trees due to time constraints.
Crawford said many downtown businesses and residents said they would donate money to the Festival of Lights if the city contributed funds. The group is now planning on following up on those offers.
In addition to lights, the committee is planning a best dressed elf competition and will build on the annual best dressed window contest among businesses.
“We have more and more members to our committee which is fun and exciting because they are bringing their ideas and values to the board as well,” said Crawford.
“I’m hoping this is something that will grow each year. Our plan is three to five years so it’s not just a haphazard plan that will fizzle out after this year.”
The lighting of the trees is scheduled for November 30 along with the Santa Parade and best dressed elf competition.