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Look for festive downtown holiday decorations soon

Beginning Nov. 29, folks will start seeing decorated lamp posts downtown and be sure to keep an eye on the transformation of Palmer Commons as the Festival of Trees begins to twinkle.

These updates were among the information that the Chelsea Downtown Development Authority learned at its meeting on Nov. 19.

If you’ve driven through downtown at night, then you’ve already seen that the city’s DPW has stung the white holiday lights that welcome everyone each Christmas season as well.

With changes to some of the annual Hometown Holiday events due to COVID-19, the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce and Chelsea Area Festivals and Events have teamed up to plan a wide range of holiday festivities for folks that follow all safety guidelines.

Terris Ahrens, executive director of the chamber, said children will still be able to have their photo taken with Santa Claus, it will just be a little different this year – with the man in red behind glass and inside Merkel Furniture.

The tree lighting will take place, but it will be prerecorded for everyone’s viewing pleasure throughout the month.

He said gingerbread houses and holiday décor will soon be found inside store windows and the mailbox where children can place their letters to Santa will be found just outside the entrance to Palmer Commons.

And these are just a few of the announcements from organizers of the event, more details will follow shortly. But you can keep an eye on this link for more information here.

In other discussion items, the DDA also revisited a discussion of the number of members on its board. Currently, there are nine members, (two more than the elected City Council) and during the years, it’s been a challenge to recruit and retain members for this important board, which meets at 7:30 a.m. the third Thursday of the month for its regular meetings.

Recently, one member (Tammy Lehman) resigned and another long-time member (Jennifer Fairfield) announced she plans not to reapply when her term is up in December.

Anyone interested in serving on the DDA board can go to the city’s website to the boards and commissions page and learn who is eligible and what the responsibilities of a board member are.

The board also continued its discussions on how to make enhancements to the alleys in the downtown. One suggestion was to remove the overhead wires and bury them underground, the details and estimated costs city staff will explore and report back to the board.

There have also been discussions of beautifying the walkways between some of the stores with rotating or seasonal art.

During the announcements portion of the meeting, Ahrens told board members that the chamber has held four ribbon cuttings recently –

Artisan Knitworks, The Find, Clocktower Comix and Grateful Crow. He said another one is planned this week for Culture Creations.

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