According to Sara Graves, executive director of the Kennett Downtown Revitalization Program, the delay in the decorating of the square is due to the old decorations not functioning properly anymore. Graves said when City Light Gas and Water (CLGW), who puts up the decorations annually, checked the them in approximately October, "they were just shot." She continued by saying, "at that point we had to gather a group together and decide what we were going to do with the those decorations -- if they were even salvageable -- or decide if we were going to get new ones.
"We looked at what was our options and prices," Graves said. "Then once we did that we realized how expensive they were and had to decide how we were even going to come up with the money to buy them."
The City of Kennett was then approached for Tourism funds, which they approved for the purchase of new decorations.
When the decorations were ordered, the decorations had to be custom made to fit the light poles, also creating a delay. When the decorations came in CLGW Crews began putting up the new decorations within an hour of receiving them
"They wanted to get them up for everyone," Graves said.
The new decorations were purchased from a company that specializes in commercial pole decorations, according to Graves. As for the cost of the decorations, Graves said, "They cost us a little under $12,000, the banners are $2,000, so it was about a $14,000 purchase." The funds to purchase the decorations came from the city Tourism and Marketing Tax, which according to Graves, "is specifically for things like that." She also said that the Copperosity Classic contributed $2,500 for the purchase of new decorations.
The new decorations, that will cover 27 of the new night poles on the square, are equipped with LED lights.
Graves said LED lights were chosen because they are, "the way to go nowadays because they don't pull as much electricity and you don't have to change them out."
The new light poles will also feature a winter themed banner that will read, "Welcome to Kennett," ordered from Kennett-based PrismaPixel Designs
Graves describes the decorations as "more classical." She went on to say, "they are the classic pine wreaths and the classic pine pole wraps, with a red bow. It goes along with our historical theme for downtown."
There were 27 pole wraps, 27 bows, 30 banners, and four wreaths ordered for the light poles. Two of the wreaths will placed on light poles on the south side of the Courthouse, and two others will be placed on light poles at the intersection of St. Francis Street and Main Street, on the West side of the square. All of the products are said to be ordered from companies located in the U.S.A.
As for future plans, Graves plans on asking for more funds to purchase wreaths for every pole, for next year.
As to when the decorations are said to be completed, Graves said that "It could take a couple of days. It's taking them some time, because it's all new stuff so their having to get a game plan. Before they had them for 30 years, so they had it together."