Georgetown residents and buiness owners put Christmas lights on Front Street

VIDEO: Christmas lights now illuminate Front Street in Georgetown

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) -After years of not having Christmas lights displayed on Front Street, residents and business owners took it upon themselves to put some up.

Officials with the city of Georgetown say they have decorations up on the lamp poles around the historic district, but they haven't budgeted for Christmas lights in four years. The city administrator said that people have brought this up as a concern this year.

City workers say the garlands alone on the trees cost $185 apiece and there are 64 poles along Front Street. The cost ends up being over 11 thousand dollars.

Kathy McWilliams lives in the historic district and she says she was shocked when she found out that there were going to be no lights on Front Street.

"Everybody was trying to call someone and we had council people come and sit with us," McWilliams said. "It was a big ordeal and it was very disappointing to us."

Concerned residents met with city council members about the issue. After the council members brought it up to city officials, they decided that residents and businesses would be allowed to "adopt a pole."

People living in the area would be able to put up lights on the poles on Front Street and staff from the electric department would plug them in.

Regan Lambert and Chris Ferrell started putting up lights around the street on Thursday. They say people from the community and council members also helped out and donated lights.

“It’s just the Christmas thing to do and we want to keep that tradition alive,” Lambert said.

City officials say the lights have to be the same for uniformity purposes. If residents want to put any lights up on unlit poles, they have to sign a waiver with city officials.

Cities like North Charleston and Charleston also put up Christmas lights and decorations in their downtown area. A spokesperson for North Charleston says the city budgets $20,000 for the Christmas decorations. Charleston puts aside $40,000 for all their Christmas decorations including greenery on city buildings and bandstands.

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