Rails ready: City leaders add routes to Christmas event to ease wait times
Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2015
“Christmas on the Rails” is on track to deliver annual seasonal fun.
The holiday event, which runs concurrently with “Shopping by Candlelight,” will be held from 5 – 8 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 4.
At a planning meeting Tuesday, Public Works Director Eric Morris handed out a map of the event, which has some big changes from the past. He mentioned how, instead of having one large route where people would have longer wait times to participate, there are now three separate routes designed to span from West to East and hit as many businesses as possible.
The “Santa Trail” starts at Jack Read Park where Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be taking pictures with children. That leads to the “Jingle Bell Trail,” which starts on South Main Street and lets people off by the train station. Then people have the option to hop on the “Rudolph Trail,” which takes passengers from Highway 11 and then on to East Canal Street.
Morris stressed “local merchants in the path of the event routes are strongly encouraged to make your shops as appealing as possible.”
One major focus is to encourage people to walk West Canal St. and visit the shops. The people in the meeting, which included a number of business owners, stressed how West and East Canal needs to be busy, colorful and attractive.
An idea that sparked interest was the possibility of putting a community band in Crystal Gallery.
Another point of discussion was whether cars should be prohibited from driving the routes and limiting route access to pedestrians. Morris is awaiting confirmation from the police department to make that happen.
“I think today’s meeting was productive and it’s gotten us one step closer to making final decisions in our Oct. 13 meeting,” Morris said.
The Oct. 13 meeting will be held at City Hall at 10 a.m.