Lit For The Holidays

The New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce started a new effort to “light up” New Paltz by giving out free strings of white lights to the community to decorate their residences and businesses.

The effort, known as Celebrate New Paltz, is a first for the town of New Paltz. In the past there were always finances set aside for lighting, but this year the budget was stretched thin, according to director of the Chamber Kathy Prizzia. As a result, local businesses stepped up to the plate with donations, and the inaugural Celebrate New Paltz was born.

“The holidays bring out the best in people,” said Prizzia, who spearheaded the effort with the local community. “We wanted to create something beautiful, a collective and continuous look.”

Copeland Funeral Home and Woodland Pond, two local businesses, contributed the funds for the strings of lights. There were thousands of them given out and distributed to both Chamber and non-Chamber members to hang up.

“I was asked by the director of the Chamber to help out and we at Copeland Funeral Home were more than happy to contribute,” Tim Copeland, owner and president of the business, said. “Anything that can brighten our town and make it a warmer environment for visitors is well worth it.”

Any community member of New Paltz was able to obtain a set of lights to decorate their residence or business.

“People are grateful. These can be lean times for the economy and our area in general,” Prizzia said. “Gearing up for the holidays is a nice way to show that we care. This is just a piece of how the community is coming together.”

The Chamber held similar events in the recent past. A Holiday on Huguenot Street occurred on Dec. 4 and 5, featuring holiday tours, a Christmas fair and choir concert by the New Paltz Reformed Church, the annual tree lighting, a holiday concert by the 18-piece Big Blue Big Band and a horse drawn carriage ride.

“More than ever, New Paltz is working as a community and from here on we are only getting better,” Prizzia said.