Santa to spend Satur­days on the Cov­ing­ton square

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­

Santa will be on the square this year for Cov­ing­ton res­i­dents’ photo-tak­ing plea­sure.

The Main Street Cov­ing­ton Board of Di­rec­tors voted Thurs­day to re­vise Santa’s sched­ule this year. Santa will still be at Ram­sey’s Fur­ni­ture an­nex Thurs­days dur­ing the hol­i­days, but he’ll now be on the square on Satur­days.

Santa agreed to the move as long as the weather is OK, board Chair Serra Phillips said.

“Santa is com­ing to the square,” Phillips said ex­cit­edly.

The Main Street pro­gram funds Santa’s ap­pear­ances, and he’s been at Ram­sey’s all this time be­cause it was one of the

few places will­ing to host Santa years ago. In ad­di­tion, the same pho­tog­ra­pher has been tak­ing pho­tos of chil­dren with Santa for years and sell­ing her own photo pack­ages un­der a ver­bal con­tract, Phillips said.

Many board mem­bers were un­aware of the specifics of the Santa ar­range­ments, and they de­cided to make a change this year.

The board is plan­ning to put out a re­quest for pro­pos­als from pho­tog­ra­phers; they will likely be al­lowed to con­tinue sell­ing pack­ages, but will have to give part of the pro­ceeds to Main Street.

The board also dis­cussed whether to al­low fam­i­lies to take their own pho­tos with Santa.

The pho­tog­ra­pher who has taken pho­tos in years past pro­vided her own vol­un­teers to help with line con­trol; Main Street will now have to pro­vide vol­un­teers. Christ­mas lights

The Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil wants to turn the square into a Christ­mas lights des­ti­na­tion, do­nat­ing $20,000 to the ef­fort along with $20,000 from Main Street.

Af­ter putting out a bid for com­pa­nies to han­dle the light­ing of the square, the Main Street board voted 5-3 in fa­vor of Cov­ing­ton-based Live Events So­lu­tions.

The con­tract will pay Live Events $40,000 a year for three years to light the square and store the equip­ment.

The com­pany will also par­tic­i­pate in the an­nual Light­ing of the Court­house event, planned Nov. 21 this year, Phillips said.

The board chose Live Events, Phillips said, be­cause it’s lo­cal, is en­thu­si­as­tic about team­ing up to pro­mote the hol­i­days, and was will­ing to step out­side the box.

The first year will fea­ture lights around the roofline of each build­ing on the square, lights on the ver­ti­cal out­lines of build­ings, and lights on the trees as ap­proved by an ar­borist. The New­ton County Ju­di­cial Cen­ter will be lit as part of the pro­gram, courtesy of Live Events.

Year two will add lights to awnings, signs, win­dows and doors, and year three will add dec­o­ra­tive col­ored LED lights and other light im­ages through­out the square, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany pro­posal.

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