The Newnan Times-Herald

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Newnan Christmas Commission seeks help to ‘Light up the Town’


  • By Jeffrey Cullen-Dean
  • |
  • Sep. 17, 2019 - 5:51 PM

Newnan Christmas Commission seeks help to ‘Light up the Town’

Jeffrey Cullen-Dean / The Newnan Times-Herald

Bill Frey takes down the old Christmas lights from a tree in downtown Newnan.

The Newnan Christmas Commission is seeking donors to help replace the festive lights in the downtown trees through their “Light Up the Town” sponsorship.

The NCC budget covers eight of the 31 lighted trees.

After several years of use, the lights have experienced damage from the elements. Most of the damage to the lights has come from rainwater affecting the wiring, according to Page Beckwith, director of Keep Newnan Beautiful.

“They were not working appropriately,” she said. “They were coming on and off. There’s an inconsistency across the board with the lights we have on the trees. In order to help our town look its best, it’d be nice to have all those things in good working order.”

The lights were originally installed in 2015.

Beckwith said the lights were intended to last three holiday seasons until a decision was made to keep the trees lit every weekend of the year.

“But those lights were never intended to run every weekend throughout the whole year,” she said.

The new lights in the trees will have water-tight seals around the bulbs to prevent water from getting into the wiring, said Beckwith.

“As long as squirrels don’t eat the wires, the lights can run continuously for two years,” she said. 

Beckwith said she expects the new lights to last four to six years since they will only be lit during the weekends. And she said she anticipates enough funds to light all 31 trees, but if more money came in, KNB would be able to light more trees within the city of Newnan.

KNB is searching for donations of $1,400 per tree for the purchase and installation of the lights. If a tree is sponsored, a plaque will be placed at the bottom acknowledging the donation.

Beckwith said the company removing the old lights and installing the new lights, Illuminating Design, is the same that decorates the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Taking down the lights is not only necessary to put up new ones, but is also healthy for the trees, said Beckwith.

“Our previous installer had stapled the lights into the tree, while the new installer doesn’t have to staple the trees. They don’t put anything that would harm the tree at all. The way they wrap the tree helps the tree breathe and grow.”

Beckwith said part of having the takedown allows the tree to take a breath because they’ve been wrapped so tightly for a while. 

“It’s important, that’s why they don’t keep the trees wrapped up all year round at the Atlanta Botanical Garden,” she said. 

Illuminating Design started taking down the old lights on Monday. The new lights will be put up in a few weeks.

“The city is doing a great thing getting these new lights in,” said Bill Frey, president of Illuminating Design.

Frey said the lights in the trees are “no different than a squirrel coming in. Trees are very resilient. With occasional maintenance, they don’t do any damage.”

“Newnan has always had a beautiful downtown. The lights on the downtown trees have added a special glow over the last 4 years. With the ‘Light up the Town’ Sponsorship program, businesses and residents now have an opportunity to help our town continue the tradition and light up downtown Newnan,” Beckwith said.

For more information or to contact the Christmas Commission about sponsoring a tree, email christmascommission@cityofnewnan.org or call 678-673-5505.