The year the Christmas lights went out in Littleton
Posted December 12, 2008 5:33 p.m. EST
Updated December 12, 2008 7:27 p.m. EST
Littleton, N.C. — The small town of Littleton prides itself on its holiday decorations. Each year, Christmas lights have adorned the town’s main streets.
“We had people coming from as far as 50 miles just to ride through the town of Littleton,” town Beautification Committee member Sally Hawfield said.
This year, with the exception of a few decorative snowflakes, the lights aren’t there.
The 600-person town’s wiring is decades old and in some places, wires are exposed. Progress Energy told officials the town is not up to code and the lights had to stay off.
“It’s pretty sad right now,” Hawfield said.
Shop owners say business is down without the lights, which were traditionally located in the town’s main commercial district.
Gabrielle Pamer, who runs a gift shop on Main Street, says fewer decorations mean fewer customers.
“The lights are definitely something we need back,” Pamer said.
In total, $27,800 in repairs are needed to get the town up to code.
“We can’t take quite that big a bite in one year,” Beautification Committee member Richard Sherman said.
Some homeowners have started to raise money, in hopes that next year the lights can return. So far the community has raised about $9,000.
Progress Energy has donated $500 to the town’s Lions Club to help.