The Christmas season may still be three months away, but a group of residents are working to make sure Sunnyside, East Carbon and Columbia light up the night.
Last December, no lights were hung from the light poles along Highway 123 that goes through both East Carbon and Sunnyside. The lights were considered to be old and in disrepair leading to them not being put up along the highway, said Joyce Caviness.
With the need for new lights in the area, Joyce Caviness, Susan Parsons and Jim Robertson, from the Rotary Club of East Carbon, presented their project to the Sunnyside City council on Tuesday evening. Because both East Carbon and Sunnyside may not have the money to purchase every new light, the group joined with the ABC Learning Center, which is considered 501c(3), to put out the request for donations, Caviness said.
The group found a website, lightthenight.com, which is selling custom light designs of giant holiday silhouettes including Christmas themed lights with reindeer and Santa Clause, a saguaro cactus with a coyote howling at the moon and more.
While they are looking to hang up lights in all three areas, Caviness said there is another idea in the works. The group is also looking into seeing if people would like to purchase a light for the pole nearest them and do it in the memory of one of the past residents of the area. The entire project is about getting individuals and businesses in the community to participate and work together.
The Rotary Club of East Carbon applied for and received two grants, including one for $630 that will be used specifically for the light project, Robertson said.
Currently there are about 10 to 12 lights that have already been purchased by residents, Caviness said, and the goal is to have at least 25 lights hung up around the area. The plan calls for 10 lights to be hung in East Carbon, 10 in Sunnyside and five in Columbia.
The orders for the lights need to be in by the end of September in order for them to be ready for the holiday season, Caviness said.
Going forward, the hope is this will become a recurring event each year, Caviness said.
"We're hoping to make this a regular project and have more lights hung up in the coming years," she said.