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Thread: Decorating cities for Christmas

  1. #1
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Decorating cities for Christmas

    Well its that time of year again! Im curious to know everyone thought was appropriate in terms of decorating cities/towns for christmas.

    I know last year in Sydney, there a bit of public outrage as it appeared that there were no decorations around the place, for the exception for a few flags on the main strips- and these themselves were not even specifically for Christmas, i think the aim was to cater for all cultures and not just christians.

    There is also a trend in large commerical businesses (esp. banks) not to display any decorations, incase it "offends" non christians, whom dont celebrate Christmas.

    I know this is non specifically a "planning" question per se, but it all comes down to how our built environment looks at this great time of year and how people can enjoy it!

    Anyone has any thoughts?

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    We keep our decorations pretty much secular. We have those banners for light poles that say stuff like "Happy Holidays" or have giant candy canes on them. Saturday the staff is coming in to spruce up the flower beds and hang the outdoor holiday lights. Most businesses here do the same thing and shy away from religious themes.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ijustkrushalot's avatar
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    My hometown (not where I go to school) is in the middle of, well, a corn field...

    The city puts up lite-up secular-ish decorations (Santa, Candycanes, Trees) on the light posts downtown, and the downtown part is taken over by a group that puts up decorations ranging from semi-secular (santa, stuff like that) to overtely christian (nativity scene)

    I don't think anyone has ever complained, so they keep doing it

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    I remember Denver, CO has a great display of decorations.
    see photo at: http://www.denvergov.org/Public_Buil...plate25221.asp
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Our city decided it doesn't have the money to decorate downtown. We do however, have an excellent light display at one of the larger parks. Displays are sponsered by local businesses and service clubs.

  6. #6
         
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    My city does some very modest decorations on light poles around the CBD and on major arterials. They are rather worn and I see them as a waste of taxpayer money. They don't create a festive environment at all. You hardly notice them except that they went up right after Halloween. Lately the downtown businesses association has started decorating a city park in the CBD with lights during the holidays in an effort to bring families into the area at night. This effort has gotten a lot of positive comments. I'm sure the tax payers still pay the power bill but at least it does create a unique feeling. Now they just have to get people out of their cars and into the businesses.

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    City just contributed 13k to light up a portion of Main Street and 50K for Christmas Traditions on South Main Street....talk about putting some $$ into christmas!!!
    I know 50k may not build an entire new road but it sure would feed quite a few families around here...seems absurd to me but of the 63K residents in this city, I haven't heard any complaints about the money spent.

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Downtown decorations are a part of our American culture. In a more commercial sense, they are meant to attract people who will shop in the district's stores when they come to view the windows. Unfortunately, most communities do a pretty mundane job of decorating. I do like Sycamore, Illinois, which suspends lights over the state highway running through town. It is different from other communities, evoking an "old time" character. Cambridge, Wisconsin's businesses all use strings of white lights on their buildings, and the city uses the same white lights on street poles. It creates a very unified scene.
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    Downtown decorations are a part of our American culture. In a more commercial sense, they are meant to attract people who will shop in the district's stores when they come to view the windows. Unfortunately, most communities do a pretty mundane job of decorating. I do like Sycamore, Illinois, which suspends lights over the state highway running through town. It is different from other communities, evoking an "old time" character. Cambridge, Wisconsin's businesses all use strings of white lights on their buildings, and the city uses the same white lights on street poles. It creates a very unified scene.
    The lights here are all white, non-twinkling and are wrapped around each light pole and all along the branches of the trees. This is the first year in a long time North Main Street has done lighting. It looks really festive and makes a big difference on the street.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Downtown SLC goes all out for Christmas, mainly due to all of the lights that the LDS church puts up. Most of the street trees on the major streets downtown are covered in lights.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Appleton, WI unashamably and unabashadly puts up its angels every year. They are supplied by the Downtown Business Association. The 'Avenue' (College Ave, the downtown main street) without the angels, *UNTHINKABLE* to an Appletonian.



    Mike

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by natski
    I know last year in Sydney, there a bit of public outrage as it appeared that there were no decorations around the place, for the exception for a few flags on the main strips- and these themselves were not even specifically for Christmas, i think the aim was to cater for all cultures and not just christians.
    If I were Australian, I'd refrain from decorating (at least using traditional decorations) on the grounds that it's hard to find anything less appropriate than decorated pine trees, fake snow, and Santa Claus outfits in the height of summer.

    Talk about immigrants failing to adapt to the local environment....

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    In the Downtown Crossing shopping area in Boston nets with twinkling light patterns are strung up between buildings across the main streets. Wreaths and banners on streetlights are also common around here.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Here in the country which claims to be the "source" for many Christmas traditions...

    ...most cities have lights, ususally white, stars, often hung across streets. Most towns have a Christmas tree in the market square, smaller squares, too, in big cities.

    The Weihnachtsmarkts (Christmas markets) are set up in the downtowns, in big cities from the last weekend in Nov. to Dec. 22/23. In small towns, for one weekend during that time. They consist of wooden booths from which are sold holiday ornaments/decorations, gift items (pottery, brushes, hats, goods made from beeswax, candles, sweaters, tee/coffee, the bigger the market the more the variety), food, and Gluhwein (spiced wine). Some markets have special areas for kids, with creche scenes, animals, crafts, and/or rides, even ice rinks. There is often musical entertainment. Depending on the town, the roofs of the booths are decorated either in cooridating ways, or there may be a competition for the best decoration.

    Here's a good link for photos... http://www.galenfrysinger.com/german...as_markets.htm
    ...click on one of the links to get the full impression of a city's Weihnactsmarkt

    My favorite is the market in Stuttgart!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    If I were Australian, I'd refrain from decorating (at least using traditional decorations) on the grounds that it's hard to find anything less appropriate than decorated pine trees, fake snow, and Santa Claus outfits in the height of summer.

    Talk about immigrants failing to adapt to the local environment....
    Yeah the whole fake snow thing does not happen here...!

    Santa Claus only exists in shopping centres surrounded by industrial sized fans!

    oh we call it Multiculturalism here..... adaptation is not seen as neccessary by many......

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