ALPENA - As Christmas nears more people are loading the family into the car and driving around the area to take in the beauty of many of the local Christmas light displays people have crafted at their homes and businesses.
To make it easier to find and promote the displays the Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau is in the process of trying to formulate a list of Alpena's better light arrangements and make them available to people who wish to view them. In order to do so the CVB needs the help of the local community.
Executive Director Deb Pardike is asking local residents to contact the CVB with addresses and photos of light displays so the list can be made available to the public before the Christmas arrives. She said residents who decorate their homes put a lot of work into their arrangements and most like them to be seen. She said by making a list with addresses available it will make it simpler for people to find the decorations.
"We know there are a lot of people who go all out with the displays and looking at the lights is an activity families often take part in during the Christmas season, so we want to put out a list together so people can enjoy them," Pardike said. "The problem is nobody has put a list together and people don't know exactly where to look for the displays without driving everywhere to find them. It is my feeling people who have put in this much time and effort to make the displays want them to be seen, and having a list available will help do that."
Pardike said several years ago there was a contest that would award prizes for the best displays in Alpena, as well as lists and maps available to the public. She said for one reason or another these are no longer active, so she hopes the CVB will be successful and maybe be expanded in the future. She said people have already stopped in the Economic Development Building looking for lists, which is one of the reasons the CVB decided to craft a list. Pardike said in order to put a list together the CVB is going to have to rely on the residents to help pass along information. She said people can call or stop in and drop off information, email her, or post information online.
"If you have a light display or know of someone who does, click a picture and put it on our Facebook page and then people will sort of get a preview. Be sure to include the address," Pardike said. "People can also email me the information and a photo if possible. I just think this would be great for the community, because I know there are a lot of people that take their families out to look at Christmas lights. This will just make it much easier for them to find the lights."
People wishing to submit addresses, photos and other information can email the CVB at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and the information will be put on the list. More details as to when and where the list will be available will be shared when it is complete.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.