MBA promises Christmas lights for Mitchelstown
Following some heated online debate this week, Mitchelstown Business Association have clarified that there will be lights in the town this Christmas and that 2014 promises a bigger and brighter festive season as people from the community and business people will be working together on this from January.
This week, questions were raised through Facebook when someone posted 'What will the town be like without Christmas lights?'
Within hours there were a number of comments and 'Likes', and while some of them were negative, a lot of people just wanted to know what they could do to help and how they could contribute to make Mitchelstown festive this year.
Many people said that it wouldn't feel like Christmas without lights and following this, Carole Bradley organised a meeting in her home on Tuesday night, which was attended by chairman of the MBA, Mark Waldron, business people and those interested in putting Christmas lights on the agenda for the town.
Speaking to The Avondhu, Mark said that having no lights in the town was never an option, but that a plan the MBA had for better lights fell through due to insurance and cost.
He said they were exploring the option of lighting up the existing trees on the main street and then having American style trees, up to 8 feet tall sprinkled liberally along the street. He said that unfortunately, the smaller Christmas trees were not a viable option, as insurance was an issue in that the business people would be liable if anything happened and the cost would have swallowed up a good chunk of the funding.
Mark said that logistically, it simply wasn't possible to go through with the new plan, but that just because they weren't going with 'Plan A' does not mean that they didn't have a 'Plan B' to fall back on. He added that in his opinion, there was no basis for what went up on Facebook and he would have appreciated if people had come to talk to him about it, instead of posting comments online.
The old lights from last year will once again be resurrected and as a result of the meeting at Carole Bradley's home, a committee of interested people will be set up regarding next year's lights and they will have their first meeting in January.
Through collections made on the main street, Mark collected more than €1,500 for the lights and he thanked everyone who contributed, but added that if anyone wants to put something towards the lights, they can contact him in Mark's Fruit and Veg on Lower Cork Street.
A grant of €1,000 also came from Cork County Council and Mark thanked Cllr Frank O'Flynn for organising this.
He also added that given the fact that the plan for new lights fell through, many business people will be making an extra effort to decorate their windows this year.
Carole Bradley also touched on this, saying that the MBA have put a lot of work into the lights and that there are some magnificently festive window displays to be seen around the town.
Mark also stressed the importance of shopping local this Christmas and he urged people to do as much of their shopping in the town as they can.
The new committee will work with the MBA to make sure that fundraising is done very early and that the people of Mitchelstown can look forward to a much brighter and more festive Christmas in 2014.
The feeling from Tuesday nights meeting was that many people from the community want to get involved and are interested in making the Christmas lights in the town, something to look forward to every year.
It was also put out there that many people just presumed that the MBA look after the lights and that the option of involving people from the community never sprung to mind.
Just this week, the lights were to be assessed and put in order and it is hoped that they will be up and turned on by early December.
Carole told The Avondhu that there were some very good ideas for fundraisers for next year's lights and, with the new committee in place, it will be all go for next year's lights once people return from their Christmas break.
Friday 29th November 8:52am