With Main Street Covington approving to spend up to $35,000 to purchase new decorations and donations from the set of "The Vampire Diaries," the downtown square will continue to be filled with the holiday spirit as the holiday season approaches.
Josephine Kelly, Main Street Covington director, said the board had a reserve of funds for developing a project in the downtown area. She said after recommendations from the Main Street Downtown Business Council, the board decided to use the reserve funds to upgrade the holiday lighting downtown.
"There had been an on-going effort to improve lighting in the downtown district," Kelly said. "Additional lighting during the holiday season will further support this.
"In addition, the existing decorations were getting a little tired having been donated to the city when the "Heat of the Night" was in production in Covington. With the elements that are proposed, the new decorations will impact the connecting streets in the downtown district and help drive foot traffic during the holiday event," she said.
Kelly listed some of the new decorations they would purchase in order to light up the city.
"All of the lamp poles will have pole mounted lighted snowflake decorations, festive lights between the poles and the office is working with city departments concerning the installation of a Image Projection System to play seasonal images on to the front of the courthouse throughout the holiday season," Kelly said. The downtown Christmas tree will have all the bulbs replaced with white lights and rope snowflakes."
She said Main Street wanted to promote downtown Covington as a shopping and dining destination for the holiday season.
"This is the biggest retail season of the year and it as an opportunity to enhance and promote the success of the downtown businesses," Kelly said.
In addition to Main Street Covington purchasing more holiday decorations, Mayor Ronnie Johnston said they will be receiving some of the decor from the set of "The Vampire Diaries." He said Bonanza Productions have donated about $8,000 to $10,000 worth of items that included lights, garland and some of the candy canes that were from the set which recently filmed their Christmas episode.
"The square was just beautiful and magical and the fact that they are willing to donate that magic is a beautiful thing," Johnston said. "I think this is going to be a Christmas that is special."
"We didn't ask them; they just came forward and I think we are very fortunate."
Pascal Verschooris, producer on "The Vampire Diaries," said the donations were a way to say thank you.
"Collectively, we wanted to express our gratitude to the community of Covington. What better way than to share a holiday moment together," Verschooris said.
At a city council work session on Monday, Johnston said he believed a lot of people were visiting Covington and trying to decide if they wanted to move to the city. He said the holiday season was a good time to create a wow effect downtown and show of the city with additional holiday decorations.
Kelly said in addition to more holiday decor, Main Street has partnered with several organizations to bring more performances and events to the city for the holidays.