COLUMN: First year without lighted Christmas scrolls in Penticton

These are the Christmas scrolls that used to shine brightly down Main Street (as pictured here in this undated photo - maybe 1960s) and Riverside Drive as well as Skaha. The popular light display was taken down in 2019 by the city of Penticton because they were becoming a hazard. They were later destroyed. (Phtographer not identified)These are the Christmas scrolls that used to shine brightly down Main Street (as pictured here in this undated photo - maybe 1960s) and Riverside Drive as well as Skaha. The popular light display was taken down in 2019 by the city of Penticton because they were becoming a hazard. They were later destroyed. (Phtographer not identified)
These are the new snowflake Christmas lights down Main Street and the 200 block of Martin St. that the city put up this year. (Brennan Phillips)These are the new snowflake Christmas lights down Main Street and the 200 block of Martin St. that the city put up this year. (Brennan Phillips)

This year marks the first holiday season without the lighted scrolls throughout Penticton.

When the scrolls were taken down in October 2019, residents were upset and had hoped they could be restored and put back up.

Many residents said they wanted to save the lights because they are an iconic piece of the city’s history. Others said they would volunteer their professional services as welders and repair people to help fix them. The city estimated it would cost upwards of $60,000 to repair them.

But in November, the Western News confirmed that the city had thrown them away.

READ MORE: Community rallies to save scrolls

“The scrolls were taken down approximately a year ago due to their poor condition and placed in storage on the understanding that a community led effort would come forward to re-condition them,” said Philip Cooper, city communication manager.

“Once stored, their [the scrolls] status was communicated and efforts were taken to connect directly with concerned citizens. After almost a year without anyone retrieving them, the scrolls were disposed of.”

The “lighted scrolls” were located on Riverside Drive and Skaha Lake Road (near Sudbury Beach) and at one point in time at the entrance to Main Street.

These scrolls had been enjoyed for well over 50 years. The city installed new Christmas lights along Main Street and the 200 block of Martin Street. They sit high on top of the lamp posts and depict snowflakes.

“All the historical things that made Penticton what it was are being done away with,” said one Penticton woman after learning the scrolls had been destroyed.

In other communities like Summerland, Oliver and Peachland, the town hall puts out a huge effort to light the town, city hall, surrounding parks, Main Street, along with other areas.

Summerland’s display is breathtaking as is Peachland and Oliver and Osoyoos. All of these communities host annual Light Up festivals that bring the entire community together.

Penticton does not have anything similar. Maybe it’s time we try?

When asked in November if the city would be doing any more Christmas lights beyond what is put up on Main St. and Martin, they said they would not.

The SS Sicamous is a beautiful addition to the Christmas spirit here in Penticton and its lights and huge lit heart are enjoyed by all. But that is a non-profit charity that puts those lights up, not the city.

Maybe it’s time the city of Penticton invested in a bit more Christmas cheer? There are plenty of opportunities to add more twinkle down Main Street and to light up Lakeshore Drive. The city did light the tree in Nanaimo Square but there are barely any strings of lights on it.

There is huge potential to light up Penticton next Christmas holiday season. Maybe even to start a Light Up festival here. We’ve got the community spirit, we just need the help of city hall.

Why not start now and work towards a magical and lit up Penticton next holiday season?

Monique Tamminga is the editor of the Penticton Western News

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read