Christmas Lights to Shine on Main Street

Chamber and village work together

By Michael Turton

Volunteer Mike Chefalo helped decorate the village Christmas tree in preparation for the lighting ceremony scheduled for  6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, at the riverfront bandstand. Santa Claus will also pay a visit. (Photo by M. Turton)

Volunteer Mike Chefalo helped decorate the village Christmas tree in preparation for the lighting ceremony scheduled for  6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, at the riverfront bandstand. Santa Claus will also pay a visit. (Photo by M. Turton)

It has taken some doing, but Cold Spring’s Main Street will be adorned with lights again this Christmas – in part at least. On Wednesday, Dec. 4, workers and volunteers took care of final touches – adding lights to trees along the street and completing electrical hookups on seasonal wreaths high above sidewalks. Organizers expect to turn on the lights by Friday.

The Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce led the way, lighting six trees along the center section of Main Street. And the trees will certainly be well lit. Chamber President Debbie Milner said that each tree is decorated with seven strands of lights – each with 180 bright white LED lights. Thanks to automatic timers, the lights will shine daily from 4 p.m. until midnight throughout the holiday season.

Milner was assisted by Nick DePaolis of Cedar Hill Property Maintenance, along with her husband John and Chamber Vice President Alison Anthoine. She praised the sponsors who made the lighting possible: Bijou Gallery, Boscobel, Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill, Cold Spring Pizza, The Gift Hut, Houlihan Lawrence, Hudson Highlands Land Trust, Hudson Hil’s, Marina Gallery, Old Souls and Putnam County Tourism.

Andrew Pidala completes electical hookups for Main Street Christmas wreaths. (Photo by M. Turton)

Andrew Pidala completes electical hookups for Main Street Christmas wreaths. (Photo by M. Turton)

High up in a cherry picker, Andrew Pidala tended to electrical hookups for wreaths. The wreaths will be lit using repurposed lights from strands that were strung across the street from pole to pole in previous years. Central Hudson, which owns the poles and power lines, put an end to that practice this year due to the concern over the hazard posed by the weight of snow that can accumulate on greenery and decorative lights.

Cold Spring Deputy Mayor Bruce Campbell said that 13 overhead wreaths will be lit this year. “And we’ll improve on that next year,” he said. “We really wanted to brighten up Main Street.”

Nick DePaolis of Cedar Hill Maintenance strings lights on one of six Main Street trees decorated by The Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by M. Turton)

Nick DePaolis of Cedar Hill Maintenance strings lights on one of six Main Street trees decorated by The Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by M. Turton)

Milner said that this year’s effort, “will give the village time to step back and think about long-term solutions.” The holiday lighting is important to Main Street commerce, the chamber president said. “Businesses rely on it for the enjoyment of their customers.” Milner also said that in a recent meeting with Maryellen Odell, the Putnam County executive indicated that the county may be able to help the village find funds to improve Main Street lighting year round as well as bury overhead power lines and improve sidewalks, making them ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

The annual lighting of the village Christmas tree will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Cold Spring riverfront bandstand. The public is invited to attend and Santa Claus is also expected to pay a visit. The tree and bandstand were decorated by volunteers, including Mike Chefalo, Matt and Jagger Beachak, Jeff Phillips and Campbell.

One thought on “Christmas Lights to Shine on Main Street

  1. Chamber head Debbi Milner deserves a hearty round of applause for her work on behalf of the merchants of Main Street, especially her latest efforts to light up the Village for the Holidays and thereafter. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to accomplish anything that requires cooperation with “the government” so I give her a great deal of credit for being able to work so effectively with the Village board and the other people who were involved. It was a tremendous achievement to get any Christmas lights put up, let alone the number that Ms. Milner was able to have installed through her own persistence.

    As far as the promises to finally do something about the darkness during the rest of the year- if there is one single thing that can be done to transform Cold Spring into the tourist/shopping/ business hub it once was, that would be to get decent street lights to replace the aged, inefficient ones that are there now.

    Based on my own research, it seems there is money available from state and even federal sources to fund this project; for the life of me, I can’t understand why generations of Village board members have been unwilling or unable to be proactive and seek out grants and other financing for something this important. (If anyone reading this knows the answer, I’d appreciate some enlightenment.)

    For the time being, I think we’re all grateful to Debbi for helping to light up the Town.