Assuming no Grinch-like pilfering of downtown Warren, Pennsylvania Avenue will be decked in holiday cheer during the city's annual Christmas Walk on Friday.
Department of Public Works personnel spent part of the day on Wednesday festooning downtown light posts with pine boughs dressed with bright red ribbon in anticipation of the Walk.
While bright snowflakes dressed in sparkling lights may be out of the picture, the city has installed a more quiet, unassuming display on Pennsylvania Avenue encompassing just the new light posts installed as part of the streetscape project.
Times Observer photo by Jacob Perryman
Christmas time in the city
City of Warren Department of Public Works employees Shawn Tutmaher and Jeremy Darr hung pine boughs and bows on Pennsylvania Ave. on Wednesday in anticipation of the annual Christmas Walk, which is scheduled for Friday evening.
The decorations the city used prior to the erection of new posts, the aforementioned snowflakes, don't fit the new poles. According to the city, the old decorations have deteriorated anyway.
In an era of constant financial strain, the city hasn't purchased new decorations to replace the old. In conjunction with Warren Main Street, it has, however, fixed on a temporary solution.
"This was a nice stopgap for this year. I especially thank Dan Ristau and Ring-Around-A-Rosy for putting them (the decorations) together for us. I'm glad we were all able to come together and do this," Public Works Director Mike Holtz said.
"Thank God my suppliers had enough bundles of boughs to do it," Ristau said. "I only keep enough in stock, since they're pre-ordered, to fill my own orders. So I had to call up to Erie and see what they had."
Ristau said he didn't put the decorations together single-handedly. He said Ruth Seebeck, Terry Pearson and Kathy Fithian were among those who lent a hand.
"Hopefully something more permanent can be figured out," Holtz said. "I'm not sure who would take the lead on something like that. The city isn't allocating any funds for it right now."
As for the Walk itself, Ristau, expressed optimism, saying things are looking hopeful.
"There's going to be plenty of activities downtown," he said. "I'm hoping for a little snow for the kids. I'm hoping the rain stays away. It looks to be turning out to be a good year."
This year's Christmas Walk parade will meet at Third Avenue and Poplar Street at 5 p.m. Friday. The parade will start at 6 p.m. and circle from Third Avenue to Hickory Street, down to Pennsylvania Avenue to Liberty Street and then move back up to Third Avenue.