The organizers of this year’s Hometown Holiday met recently and discussed some new safe activities for the community to continue its celebration of this popular weekend festival typically held the first weekend in December.
A few of these potential plans were unveiled to the Chelsea Downtown Development Authority Board at its Thursday, Sept. 17 Zoom meeting.
Although the Hometown Holiday Light Parade will not take place this year because of COVID-19 safety concerns and state health department regulations, in lieu of this popular event, new fun and festive activities are in the planning stages.
The Hometown Holiday Committee would like to see the light poles downtown decked out in festive holiday décor, and organizers plan to contact and invite past parade participants to decorate a downtown light pole or perhaps even a tree in Palmer Commons for a new Festival of Trees. Organizers want to continue the tradition of allowing community organizations and business turn downtown Chelsea into a festive location for the community to visit, eat, shop during the holidays.
Early word from the North Pole is that Santa Claus might hop a ride in a fire truck and drive through some Chelsea neighborhoods.
City Manager John Hanifan said that currently, outdoor seating for restaurants is approved through Nov. 1 but he plans to request that the City Council extend that date either through the end of November or even longer if the state approves dates through December.
Hanifan also showed DDA members examples of the type face for the new wayfinding signs in the city. They will have an Arial typeface and are on a black background with white lettering outlined in copper penny gold like the sign at Palmer Commons. The signs will be replaced, perhaps by quadrants throughout the city, beginning in a couple of weeks. He hopes the new signs will all be in place by the end of the year. Light poles will also be painted but doing so is dependent on the weather.
Distribution of the DDA’s proposed strategic plan will take plan in part through mailings, in part through email and will be on the city’s web site as well. The goal is to get it to all of the residents and businesses within the DDA district for comment and those comments will be compiled by city staff and provided to the DDA by the end of the year.
It’s expected that the city’s auditor’s Plante Moran will give a presentation on the DDA’s audit at the authority’s October meeting. That meeting is scheduled for Oct. 15 at 7:30 a.m., will be held via Zoom, but it’s hoped that future meetings will take place in person. Whether that can happen will depend on the governor’s executive orders for limiting the number of people allowed to legally be together in a location.
Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Terris Ahrens said the chamber is planning three upcoming ribbon cuttings. New business Cottage Rabbit is scheduled for Sept. 23, new business Clocktower Comix on Oct. 6 and Brahma Haus, that is now under new ownership, on Oct. 14.
He said the chamber’s annual golf outing held last week at Pierce Lake Golf Course was a success with 92 golfers, just four less golfers than the previous year.
He said Sweet Saver Saturdays downtown is in its third week and participating businesses are offering specials for diners and shoppers. He thanked Silver Maples of Chelsea for sponsoring the event for the month of September and there are plans to continue the event.