City hopes to bring Christmas cheer in new way

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City approves purchase of new decorations for Christmas

By Thomas Barr

SHEPHERDSVILLE -- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Well, not quite this soon.

The Shepherdsville City Council endorsed the purchase of $8,000 in new Christmas decorations in what the beautification committee hopes is just the beginning.

Committee chairperson Lisa Carter was in Gatlinburg recently and ran across a dealer who handles holiday decorations.

In her wish list of 37 items, Carter could receive a 20 percent discount, no taxes since it would be sold out of state and free delivery.

It was a deal the beautification committee and the city council could not pass up.

Most of the decorations will be used in the downtown area, said Carter.

During a recent meeting of the committee, a primary question is where the Christmas celebration would be held this year.

Originally, the city park on First Street was the focal point. Activities over the years included a parade, Santa meeting children, caroling, a live nativity scene and a drive-thru light display.

Over the past couple of years, the decorations remained on the front part of the park but the focus centered on the government center. A partnership with the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre, the city hall gym was turned into a winter wonderland.

The parade ended at the government center and the indoor decorations remained open to the public throughout the month of December.

Carter and council member Stacey Cline both said the Friday night parade caused too much traffic congestion. A suggestion to move the parade to Saturday is part of the plan for 2017.

Another question undecided at the last meeting was whether the government center or the city park should be home to all the activities.

Cline said that no matter the decision, some will be upset. And she didn’t have a preference one way or another.

Committee member and councilman Mike Hibbard said that there had been a suggestion to have the Buckman Street bridge over the Salt River lit with rope lighting. That met with unanimous support.

Carter said she wanted to do something to bring attention to the downtown area. Whatever is purchased this year could be added to next year.

The city currently has existing decorations housed but some of the displays are in poor condition. Vandalism in the park was a factor in cutting that portion back.

Before any of the $50,000 budgeted for beautification was spent, Carter wanted to make sure that was appropriate and that the full council supported the move.

She is working with state transportation officials to see if any holiday greetings could be erected in areas such as the Highway 44 overpass on Interstate 65.

She is also working with businesses to see if larger displays might be allowed to welcome people to Shepherdsville.

In making the motion to purchase the decorations, councilmember Gloria Taft requested Merry Christmas be part of the verbage.

Traditionally, the Light Up Shepherdsville has been the first Friday in December. No new date has been determined as of yet.