Donations assure Christmas decorations downtown

The Christmas decorations for the City of Warren will be in great shape this year, thanks to volunteers like Jim Zavinski and the Community Foundation of Warren County.

The Community Foundation presented a check for $5,000 to Zavinski to help with the costs of welding, painting and re-wiring 35 of the 25-year-old snowflakes. Other donations from the community have already been made for the project.

The decorations will be placed along Pennsylvania and Second avenues, and a new design for the 26 poles on the Hickory Street Bridge will feature greenery, red bows, and LED lighting, according to Zavinski. The snowflakes will also be lit with the new LEDs.

Last year, the snowflakes weren’t hung at all, partly because of their condition and partly because the new poles downtown couldn’t accommodate them. Zavinski said they didn’t want to drill or damage the new poles, so they had a machine shop in Sugar Grove build new ones. “When they (the decorations) are up, you won’t even see the brackets. They just snap into place. They are beautiful,” he added.

Timing for having the decorations completed and hung should be “right on the money,” according to Zavinski.

Also, the Warren Wishes You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year sign that graces the riverbank below the Hickory Street Bridge has been completely refurbished.

Zavinski said that the sign was rebuilt last year, and is “ready to go,” noting that the letters are now aluminum with new sockets and 1,800 red bulbs. The work cost $23,000, he said, adding that it should last another 20 years.

He said erecting the sign takes three volunteers about an hour. All the Christmas decorations are scheduled to be in place during the week before Thanksgiving.

Zavinski added that the lights are usually turned on Thanksgiving Day.