4th of July is over, time to start thinking about… Christmas?
West Memphis city offi-cials already planning for the holidays
With Independence Day fireworks having recently lit the night skies, the West Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau shopped for new holiday night lights during the last West Memphis Advertising and Promotions meeting.
The group opted to spend $12,000 for a variety of LED lit snow flakes to adorn light poles on Missouri Street. Some city residents may have recently noticed the sample flakes on poles near Worthington Park home of the city Christmas tree center piece each year. A& P commissioners used the visual display to decide what sizes and which lighting package to choose to use for the winter holiday seasons to come beginning this year.
The new snow flakes will be the highlight of more new lighting with LED era displays approved for different displays all around the city.
Commissioners heard about the new snowflakes first “We had a five and six footer put up, and the commissioners like them,” said Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jim Jackson. “The company has these in Stuttgart, Newport, Pine Bluff, and El Dorado, which decorates with a lot of these lights.
The company recommended that snow flakes looking nice when you have different sizes and shapes. So we will have the two different sizes and three different shapes on every other pole on Missouri Street, 35 in all.”
The Martin Luther King Park and Drive will be brought into the LED era this year as well.
“We’ve always done a tree there,” said Jackson, “but we want to make it nicer because it is seen from the Interstate there. I’d like to do something more somber at Martin Luther King.”
The increased cycling traffic coming from the Big River Crossing into the city steered commissioners to purchase a ten by ten foot waiving Santa on bike for the east end of town.
“The wheels on the bike are animated,” said Jackson. “And his arm waves as he sits on the bike.”
New singing reindeer will be heard in the southeast corner of Worthington Park in the LED collection which has grown year by year.
“The whole animated singing features are expensive, so I want to ease into it,” said Jackson as he played a sample Winter Wonderland music video demonstration of the reindeer. “They are internally lit and you can pick your songs. The speakers are included. The kids are really going to like this.”
All the additional lighting discussed will total out at $25,000. The funds were budgeted under special events and allocated for the new Christmas lights for expanded displays around the town.
“We’ve got the money there,” said Jackson. “We will still do what we’ve always done with the tree.
We will change it up some too; the whole park will be decorated this year.”
In the two years since the fallen officers memorial was dedicated in the park, lighting plans moved away from the knoll. This year the lights will skirt around it to cover the park.
By John Rech