Shelby TownshipNovember 14, 2012
New decorations highlight Shelby Township holiday celebrations
By Brad D. Bates
C & G Staff Writer
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — As people around the world trim their trees, Shelby Township is sprucing up its municipal grounds with new holiday decorations.
The new decorations will be on display for celebrations like Shelby Township’s Christmas Aglow Dec. 6, and Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Director Joe Youngblood can’t wait to let his inner Clark Griswold shine.
“We’re going to have a ‘Merry Christmas’ sign off the township building and ‘Merry Christmas’ in the lawn on the east side of Van Dyke,” Youngblood said. “On the median, we also have some of the LED lights on the poles and the back of the band shell.”
The new lights will match new lights that the township’s Downtown Development Authority is putting in place along Van Dyke Avenue, between 23 Mile and 24 Mile roads.
“They’re updating for the first time in 20 years, so it’s time to update ours, as well,” Youngblood said of the joint effort between the DDA and his department.
“Joe came to me, and we talked about new decorations, and the DDA initiated a discussion about new decorations,” Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis said.
“And I got Joe involved, and as long as the DDA is investing up and down Van Dyke, we thought it would make sense to join efforts and do it all at one time.”
Stathakis said he is hopeful that the decision to go with “Merry Christmas” on the signage, rather than a more secular message, such as “Happy Holidays,” does not offend anyone.
“If you want to make a big deal out of ‘Merry Christmas,’ that is my decision,” Stathakis said. “The township is simply wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. That is all it’s doing.”
The cost for the new decorations and light are being covered by rebates from DTE.
“(The cost is) under $2,000, but the nice thing is this money is from (DTE),” Youngblood said. “We applied for some rebate money from energy grants, so no money is coming out of the operating budget.”
Youngblood said the best time to see the new decorations will be when the township lights its official Christmas tree at 7 p.m. Dec. 6.
“The tree lighting is Dec. 6 — the big kickoff,” Youngblood said. “Come out that night to see the exciting new changes to the township grounds.”