BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon Consolidated Public Works Board approved a request of $5,000 for 2021 holiday decorations.
Pam Bucklew, a board member and representative of the Seasonal Downtown Decoration Committee, requested the funds during the Sept. 23 CPWB meeting.
“I went to BURMA (Buckhannon-Upshur Retail Merchants Association) and the Garden Club, and we sat down to discuss downtown decorations, and we’ve come up with a theme. We’re going to do, ‘A Hero’s Christmas,’ and we’re going to do red, white and blue,” Bucklew said. “We are going to ask businesses to represent a different branch of the military like the Army and Navy.”
Bucklew said they plan to decorate the tree in front of the courthouse with a red, white and blue theme and adorn the poles on Main Street in the same color scheme.
“This idea is meant to honor everyone, and everything that we have gone through in the last few years,” Bucklew said. “We’re looking at about $5,000 and we hope to do a little bit more with Jawbone.”
Mayor Robbie Skinner said he was concerned about how the city could utilize the red, white and blue-themed decorations in the future, but Bucklew said they could be dusted off for décor during Fourth of July or the West Virginia Strawberry Festival.
“I think they can be used for either Strawberry Festival or Fourth of July,” she said. “I think we could get some use out of them.”
Director of public works Jerry Arnold said he was told the poles around Main Street would not be wrapped in lights this season, but Skinner said that’s a signature facet of downtown Buckhannon’s decorations at Christmastime.
“No, I want to wrap the poles,” Skinner said. “People like that and it looks really good through town, so I think we still should wrap the poles, even if it’s just the white lights with green garland,” Skinner said. “I think we should at least wrap the poles from City Hall to the Courthouse.”
Arnold said the traditional white lights may clash with the red, white and blue wreaths they planned on utilizing.
“This is something we need to talk about with BURMA, but I’m trying to visualize the red, white and blue or the red and blue lights on the wreaths and the white lights on the garland,” Arnold said. “Would it make more sense to do certain poles with the white lights and the red, white and blue wreaths on others? We could alternate the Main Street poles, instead of having the two together because traditionally we did the white lights with the white wreaths.”
Skinner suggested utilizing the red, white and blue theme elsewhere.
“What if we audited what we have, see what works and still use the white lights and the green garland with white lights downtown, but we look at the trees that are in the planters, and we string the trees with red, white and blue lights in the planters?” Skinner suggested. “That might look better; I don’t know if we can pull off white lights all the way down the pole and then blue or red on the top.”
Bucklew noted that BURMA had an upcoming meeting on Monday, Sept. 27, and they could discuss these new ideas then.
“I know over the past several years, as we’ve wrapped the poles with the white lights, people really love that,” Skinner said. “They compliment us like crazy and when you drive around the other communities, they don’t have the Christmas decorations that we do. People come here to really marvel at our Christmas decorations.”
The board approved the decoration committee’s request for $5,000, but board members agreed details still needed to be worked out about the execution of the decorations.