Main Street DDA, volunteers decorate downtown Niles for holiday season

NILES — Businesses and the Main Street Downtown Development Authority are preparing for the holiday season.

On Thursday morning, in the unseasonably warm temperatures and sunshine, volunteers battled the swift winds to clean up the downtown flower beds of dead plants past their seasonal prime. Others ensured placement of the festive, multicolored bulbs in the cleaned-up beds to evoke piles of tree ornaments catching the light as people passed by and wooden snowmen. On the corner of Main and Third streets, Veni’s Sweet Shop’s windows were in full holiday spirit with multiple Santa Claus, candy canes and a nativity scene installed.

Sandy Whitmire, a member of the Main Street DDA, was unloading and placing wooden snowmen of all different designs on Main Street between Front and Second streets with Brenda Waggoner.

“We put these out every year,” Whitmire said.

Main Street DDA Director of Marketing and Administration Lisa Croteau was thrilled with how quickly the work came together.

“I think it’s phenomenal,” she said. “We had 10 volunteers that took care of [the flower beds and ornaments] in about an hour.”

She said Sandy Whitmire, member of the Main Street DDA, suggested they take advantage of the weather Thursday to decorate.

The design is not complete, as there will be more decorations, including garlands and lights, placed down Main Street by M.A.A.C. Property Services.

“They will be doing that in the next day or so,” Croteau said. “They will also light our trees. By next week, it should be absolutely beautiful downtown.”

Main Street in downtown Niles will be fully dressed in holiday spirit by the day after Thanksgiving. Croteau thanked the volunteers who had helped get downtown ready, including Whitmire, Waggoner, Linda Purucker, Steve and Michelle Farr, Thad Payne and Tim O’Toole.

During a challenging year for many, Croteau thinks it is more important this year than in the past.

“We all just need it,” Croteau said. “We all just need a reason to smile.”

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