Downtown Jackson and the city’s Manpower Park will both have a different decorative look for this coming holiday season as new large Christmas wreaths will make their debut.

With the support of first-year Jackson Mayor Randy Evans, a new civic improvement organization, the Downtown and Park Improvement Committee has fashioned a plan which will result in 48 of the Christmas wreaths being hung on period-lighting poles in a three-block section of the downtown covering two blocks on East Main Street from Portsmouth Street to Church Street and one block of Broadway Street from East Main Street to Pearl Street.

The large evergreen-colored wreaths will have an attached large bright red ribbon tied in an attractive bow. Committee members and volunteers were working on preparing the wreaths this past Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Memorial Building Auditorium.

To maximize the effect of the period lighting and the display of the wreaths, the streetlights in the downtown section will be shut off during the evening hours after the wreaths are in place except for those at the intersections. Evans has indicated the period lighting provides a sufficient amount of light on their own.

In conjunction with the downtown plan, 16 of the same style of Christmas wreaths will be placed on the recently installed period-lighting poles in Manpower Park. Grant funding has resulted in upgrades to the park, including a new drainage system, a perimeter sidewalk, electrical service, and the installation of the old-fashioned lamp posts and poles.

The new wreaths were made possible by a private fund drive launched earlier this year with the City of Jackson establishing a fund to collect and deposit the donations. The longer-term décor plan of the Downtown and Park Improvement Committee is to also to purchase and place 18 black metal benches, which will be spaced evenly throughout the three-block downtown area.

Committee members say the benches portion of the project won’t happen this year, but that they expect fundraising to continue and that the benches will likely be in place sometime next year. Donations are being accepted for the benches and if a donor would want to purchase a bench on his/her own, the cost is $525. Checks can be made payable to: The City of Jackson, P.O. Box 1090, Jackson, Ohio, 45640 with the memo line of “Downtown Park and Improvement Fund.”

There is no firm date for the placement of the new wreaths, but Evans figures it will be done soon after Thanksgiving, which is Thursday, Nov. 26.

As part of the new décor plan, the city-owned Christmas decorations with the memorial signs purchased by private donors will no longer be hung in the downtown area, but will continue to be placed in other locations in the city and as close to the downtown sector as possible. This recommendation on the memorial decorations was made by a different community committee appointed by Jackson City Council to address the future of the memorial decorations and how to provide financial support to the city to continue that project.

The Downtown and Park Improvement Committee is composed of Chairwoman Marva Colby, Sally Jones McNamara, Debbie Biggs, and Karisa DeLay. Colby and Biggs are both newly elected Jackson city councilwomen who began their terms in January. DeLay is the owner/operator of a downtown business and is also the co-chair of the Jackson Downtown Association, which has conducted monthly First Thursday events to bring more people to the downtown sector.