Dozens of volunteers strung Christmas bulbs around trees and poles Saturday morning so they’d be ready to light up downtown Roseburg by evening and through the long winter nights ahead.
It’s been a difficult year for both shoppers and businesses, and organizer Sam Starns said people really need some Christmas cheer.
“I think personally everyone in some part of their heart and soul wants that Hallmark aspect of the holidays,” Starns said.
Starns is a wedding photographer who specializes in documenting elopements and whose office is located downtown.
She said in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, viewing the lights is a safe form of holiday entertainment.
“We really wanted to make sure it was happening in some way this year. It’s been a rough year for everybody on so many different levels and it’s such a great way to socially distance, spend time outside, walk around, enjoy downtown,” she said.
Many people don’t walk around downtown in the evening and now they’ll have a reason to, she said.
“I think it’s a great way to welcome people downtown in the evening and give them an opportunity to get into the holiday spirit,” she said.
Four blocks each of Southeast Jackson and Southeast Main Streets were strung with about 20,000 individual lights as Christmas music played in the background.
Douglas Fast Net, Pacific Power and Sims Electric provided bucket trucks and crew members to help.
A light display of a cluster of gift packages were set up on top of the Douglas National Bank building at the corner of Southeast Oak and Southeast Jackson Streets and icicle bulbs dripped moving light from the Roseburg Town Center arch sign.
Roseburg Town Center Executive Director Susie Johnston-Forte said next Saturday the center will be opening a downtown store with locally produced goods and fresh local produce called the People’s Goods.
“We really thought it was appropriate for us to be doing that because it provides economic development for a lot of small cottage industries in our community and helps people have a place where they can sell on a consistent basis in a brick and mortar place,” she said.
Roseburg Town Center is both the new and the original name of the organization formerly known as the Downtown Roseburg Association.