For anyone who’s looked at the holiday decorations on Main Street over the last several years and thought, “Ugh,” your prayers have been answered.
Township manager Scott Carew announced Monday the township has signed a contract for new decorations, which will be strung up downtown around Thanksgiving.
“This wins the award for the longest issue,” he joked. “It beats town hall by a couple years.”
Mayor John Button, liaison to the Appearance Committee, which had taken the lead on the decorations, said the current downtown ornamentations were “an accommodation to a budget constraint” back in 2006.
And ever since then, Button, as well as committee member Gina Zegel, said they’ve heard no end of complaints from people who thought the decorations weren't up to snuff.
“I’ve had several unsolicited comments from residents on the street,” the mayor said.
Zegel said Appearance Committee members received numerous letters from townspeople letting them know the decorations were “less than fantastic.”
Button was even more blunt in his personal assessment: “They were absolutely horrible.”
The current adornments—which Zegel described as a “green, bushy thing that hangs from a lamppost”—will be replaced by much nicer-looking “swag,” essentially hanging greenery with bright lights in them. The decorations, 31 in all, will be placed on every other pole on Main Street, Zegel said, with banners strung up on the other lampposts.
Carew said the township is intentionally purchasing only half of what is needed to adorn every lamppost, with plans to purchase the other 31 next year. The first installment will cost the township $17,400.
“It’s going to look really beautiful,” Zegel said.
While perhaps not a Priority with a capital “P,” Button said the decorations are nonetheless an aesthetically significant component of what makes Moorestown special.
“It’s even a morale booster for people to see something fresh out there,” he said. “To some extent, Main Street and Camden Avenue are part of the fabric of our town and it’s sort of a signature.”