Central Ave Sparkling for Holidays
It’s that time of year again when we have the opportunity to light up Central Avenue with a bit of glamour and holiday cheer for our community. I have had the opportunity to be a part of this group over the past two years made up of community members representing the greater downtown Phoenix community, including the City of Phoenix, METRO Light Rail, Phoenix Community Alliance, Raza Development Fund, Phoenix IDA, and a large number of neighborhood organizations, residents and local business owners. We have come together to create the “Holiday Decoration Fund.” This group works very hard to coordinate and raise annual contributions to help bring seasonal sparkle each year to our city’s grandest boulevard.
2011 was the first year since light rail construction began that the holiday streetlight decorations on Central Avenue have been installed. By the end of that season, however, it was very clear that the decorations were too deteriorated to reuse and a solution needed to be found. Over the course of the past two years, the organizers of the Holiday Decoration Fund have gathered enough community-wide support to decorate streetlights from Camelback to Baseline Rd with new and refurbished decorations.
Streetlights on Central Avenue, ranging from North Central to South Central, are now decorated with candy canes, pine wreaths, bells, candles, pole wraps, banners and poinsettias with LED lights adding a little sparkle. “This says so much about what the community can do when it comes together,” said City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Holiday decorations are an important aspect of a vibrant community. Thanks to Phoenix Community Alliance for their leadership, and to all the participants who are brightening Central Avenue.”
“South Mountain area residents and businesses really get in the spirit of the holidays, with many events and celebrations for families to enjoy,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski. “The opportunity to have Central Avenue – the main route connecting the central city and our downtown to the South Mountain area – decked out in holiday lights have really added an extra layer of excitement for families and children. Let’s turn Central Avenue into a holiday wonderland!”
It is thrilling to see holiday decorations come back to Central Avenue. These decorations have always fostered a sense of community among Phoenix residents, and have helped to build a festive holiday spirit for visitors, downtown shoppers and diners. Our group will continue to work hard to make this happen annually and fulfill even a greater vision, to light up Central Avenue from South Mountain in SoPho to North Mountain in Sunnyslope.
“Holiday decorations along Central Avenue are one of our greatest community traditions,” said Mo Stein, Chairman of Phoenix Community Alliance’s Board of Directors. “Growing up in Phoenix, this was always a family activity. What better way to continue to bring families together and celebrate the Heart of our City, with new restaurants, shops, housing and light rail happening daily. We thank everyone who is helping this great tradition.”
‘Tis the season to bring your family and friends to Central Avenue, ride the light rail and take in the beauty of the season. If you would like to get involved next year please email email@example.com or call 602-254-7477 ext 22.
We applaud and are thankful for the leadership of JoMarie McDonald of Phoenix Community Alliance for all the work she has done to help guide the Holiday Decoration Fund in making this happen. We would also like to thank our major contributors: Ann Aberbach, Arizona Housing, Inc., Arizona State University, Artisan Lofts on Central, Best Buy Insurance, BMO Harris Bank, Brophy College Prep, John Graham, CAVCO, Central Park Square, Central United Methodist Church, Chateau on Central, City Square, Corona Promotions, Cotton Country Jams, City Square, Clear Channel, Davis Enterprises, Dick’s Ace Auto Repair, Donor Network of Arizona, DOXA Central, DWL Architects, Early, Curly & Legarde, 2800 Office Tower, Great American Tower, Hansji Group, H-M Investments, Hula’s Modern Tiki, Security Title Plaza, Jim McPherson, L.D. Schneider & Associates, Macayo’s, Martha & Mary, Viad Corporate Center, Metro Realty, Midtown Museum District, MRM Construction Services, OMNINET, One Camelback, One Thomas, Orcutt/Winslow Architects, Pavilions on Central, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Corporate Center, Phoenix Financial Center, Phoenix IDA, Pierson Place Historic District, RAZA Development Fund/Tommy Espinoza, RE/MAX Heights Realty, Sheet Metal Works Local Union 359, Southwest Gas, Smart City Networks, St. Francis Parish, Tapestry on Central, 3300 Office Tower, Phoenix Plaza Association, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and Viad Corporate Tower.
A special thank you to the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services and Street Transportations Department who worked with the Phoenix Community Alliance, downtown’s community engagement and membership organization, to coordinate this team effort.