Tecumseh welcomes holidays with lights and festive touch

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The city replaced holiday lights this year, going back to standard incandescent bulbs which last longer. Photo by Mickey Alvarado

In a city that already conveys a certain elegance with its historic homes, downtown structures and quaint shops, Tecumseh appears to have taken extra steps this holiday season to add a festive touch to the community.

Tecumseh City Manager Kevin Welch said the city is already getting positive emails and comments about the Community Center being decked out in lights again this year. It’s the second year that lights have gone up on the building, but this year, lights are on both the front and back of the building and inside the windows.

“We’ve had a lot of comments from people who say when they come into town, it looks so pretty,” Welch said. “It’s a landmark already, but people say it gives them a warm and welcoming feeling when they enter the community and see that building lit up.”

He said lighting the structure was DJ Martin’s idea, and that he and Martin’s Home Center donated the lights for the project.

“We’ve had different people make donations to help us light up the community through the years, for which we’re grateful. It makes it easier for us to do this,” said Welch. He added that the city’s Department of Public Works does most of the installing, as they did at the Community Center, and Marketing Coordinator Linda Hewlett coordinated the effort. A youth group from St. Elizabeth’s Parish helped put up the interior window lights.

This year, many downtown businesses have also put up lit trees, wreaths and strings of white lights in shop windows, making the city an inviting holiday destination to view displays.

“We’re just trying to light up as many things as we can,” said Welch.
New lights were installed downtown this year, as well as on light poles at the city’s West end.

The city experimented with leaving the lights up for a couple of years after the bird netting came down from downtown trees, and went to LED lights for a time, but have returned to the traditional lights. The LED lights are more expensive than standard incandescent lighting, and while they are said to be more energy efficient, they just do not last very long.

“While power consumption is less, it’s hard to justify the electrical savings versus the cost to replace, which is between $15,000 to $16,000 and we can’t do that every year or two,” Welch said. By the second year with LED lights, those on the West end poles had dimmed so much people barely noticed there were Christmas lights on them, Welch said.

“This year, we also had to add more lights downtown because the trees had gotten bigger,” he said.

The city planned to see what the downtown looked like with just the Christmas lights and the globes turned off as of Thursday, Nov. 29, which could result in some cost-savings while the lights are up. Welch said the city lights would likely stay on until the end of January.

While many are hoping for a mild winter such as the area experienced last year, some wouldn’t be disappointed to see a little snow for Christmas — for an added touch of the holiday spirit to the city’s decorations.




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