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Downtown Christmas improvements on horizon

Ginger Gillenwater, chairman of Ironton aLive, gives a presentation Thursday evening at the city center about the group’s plans to improve the Christmas season in downtown Ironton to business owners and community members.

Ginger Gillenwater, chairman of Ironton aLive, gives a presentation Thursday evening at the city center about the group’s plans to improve the Christmas season in downtown Ironton to business owners and community members.

 

Downtown Ironton will dance with the Christmas spirit this December if the volunteers from Ironton aLive have their way.

On Thursday a Christmas in July meeting enumerated what the grass-roots organization would like to see this holiday season.

“The purpose of the Christmas aLive project coincides with Ironton aLive’s mission statement by attracting more individuals to the downtown area,” chairman of Ironton aLive Ginger Gillenwater said. “It is also our goal to increase the aesthetic appeal during the Christmas season, providing individuals and families with a festive environment and fun activities to enjoy.”

There are eight goals that the group hopes to achieve this year.

The first is for individuals or businesses to sponsor a tree for $50, which would pay for the LED lights and an ornament recognizing the sponsor, or to sponsor a street light pole, which would pay for materials for 3 feet of bows and garland along with a sponsor recognition.

Second is to expand decorations from Second Street and Park Avenue to Fourth Street and Park Avenue with possible deco pots along Third.

Decorating the light poles with bows made by volunteers and garlands is the third goal. The poles, however, are not outfitted for additional electric outlets, so Christmas lights can’t be a possibility. The fourth goal is getting at least two large nutcrackers for the front of the Ironton City Center to recall the days of the holiday toyland on the top floor of the former J.C. Penney’s, and more in other places if possible. Each nutcracker costs between $500-$700.

Next would be decorating storefronts at existing businesses and as many vacant buildings as possible to use donated decorations. Ironton in Bloom may continue its storefront decoration contest to augment this.

Next would be angels in the Ironton Farmer’s Market with a life-size storybook on a “12 Days of Christmas” theme. Twelve school art departments would be given a 4×4 board to design for the storybook to be set up under the shelter.

Improving the Rotary Fountain area is the seventh goal. Along with a donated tree, the group would like to see a Southern elf, heavy wooden presents underneath and a Nativity scene. Having a caroling and hot chocolate event could accompany this.

The last goal is to continue concerts at the city center, with Santa or Mrs. Claus present along with cookies and hot chocolate.

Ironton aLive hopes to raise enough funds to make most, if not all, of this possible.

“In order to do everything, we would need a budget of $25,000,” Gillenwater said “But to really make an impact, we need at least $10,000.”

Sponsoring trees and light poles will help with fundraising as well as sponsors and donors, which can be done at irontonalive.com.

Gillenwater said the group is looking for volunteers to help make bows and other items, assist with decorating and/or assisting with downtown events.

Anyone interested in helping out can contact Gillenwater at ginger@caminteractive.com.