SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - We are now officially into the holiday season and downtown Savannah is looking a little more festive. The decorations are up, and the city’s ready to celebrate the holidays.
Earlier this year, it looked as if the city would not have holiday decorations this year due to costs. Fortunately, a few community partners have stepped in to front the bill.
Over the last few months, the city of Savannah has been looking to eliminate certain items from its budget, holiday decorations being one of those items. The decorations cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
Without the funding, the squares, streets, and other parts of downtown would have remained bare this season. But the chamber of commerce and other groups partnered together to keep the decorations in the downtown area.
Earlier this month, Savannah city council approved an agreement on passing the torch of holiday decorations to the city’s partners. The hotel community and other groups will now use a portion of the city’s hotel/motel tax to pay for the decorations.
Tourism leaders say people have high expectations for Savannah, and it is important we meet those expectations, especially during the holidays.
“Savannah is such a beautiful city to begin with. People love coming to see the Live Oaks and Spanish moss, but there are high expectations during the holiday season to see the celebration of the season,” says Joseph Marinelli, President, Visit Savannah.
The decorations are especially important for Savannah Holly Days, the marketing campaign which looks to attract people downtown during the months of November and December.
This year’s decorations include lamp posts wrapped in garland and topped with bows, lights crossing Broughton Street, and of course the city’s tree. And new this year - City Hall is getting festive with a few decorations as well, including a holiday wreath.