Christmas is just around the corner and thoughts of sugar plums are dancing in the heads of Brandon Harrelson and Tom Cocke. Both are excited to present council with the possibilities of more twinkling lights and decorations to bring in visitors to Loris with hopes that visitors will come to see, eat and shop locally.
Their proposal to council was to utilize the hospitality funds in the amount of $72,000 to upgrade, purchase new decorations, strands of lights and to have a visual of an animated Santa and sleigh.
The list includes 9,000 industrial LED cool white lights, 14’x 4’ x16’ swing angels skylines including the support pole and hardware, five spools of green light, 3,300 LED multi color lights and 1,700 twinkling multi color lights. Three mailboxes for letters to Santa, two collapsible nylon gift boxes, three larger size gift boxes, a metal Santa sleigh, a photo opportunity with a deer family where visitors can have their picture taken when they poke their head through the holes in the board. An animated Santa and sleigh with controllers and LED lights, two animated deer including LED lights, controllers and all assembly hardware. And the 12 days of Christmas silhouettes that include 2,328 LED clear cool white lights.
As they presented their proposal with council they were prompted to say that Christmas is a time for families, and families with small children who are in awe over the holiday lighting and decorations and hoping to draw in people from smaller cities in the surrounding area to come see what Loris has created for the Christmas season. And this too may bring out the inner child of some adults in Loris.
This is a vision with great possibilities, with activities planned in downtown Loris from Broad Street to the railroad tracks on Main Street. They promoted some of the ideas to have businesses along Main Street decorate their store windows. One suggestion is to work with the local schools art classes to help decorate the store windows. Other great thoughts are to have the local schools chorus classes sing, church groups sing Christmas Carols and possibly have the school bands play Christmas tunes. Activities will be planned and have vendors selling hot cocoa, holiday cookies and more.
City Councilman Mike Suggs asked if the purchase will be made from a state approved company. Harrelson stated he would research that and will notify council. On Tuesday, Sept. 17, Kenya Wright, city clerk/treasurer, provided an advertisement to receive bids for the Christmas lights and decorations. When an amount over $5,000 is spent by the city, if the company is not state approved, bids must be received.
Join in the vision of the 25 trees lining Main Street decorated with LED lights, the spirit of Christmas in the air and people gathering downtown to share in the excitement of carolers, festivities and smiling faces. The vision is to build it and they will come, but not just residents from Loris, invite friends from Aynor, Green Sea, Tabor City and more. This is an idea to promote the city and bring in revenue. Be sure to invite your friends.
Council unanimously approved the proposal. Once the bids are received and opened during a council meeting the ordering can begin and soon the city will light up and the vision becomes a reality.
Check frequently the city social media and website for updates of activities for Christmas.