Orange Merchants Group organizes fifth annual lamppost-decorating contest

  • There are 26 decorated lampposts (with one named for each letter of the alphabet) throughout the main-streets intersection and an additional two (named “B1” and “B2”) at the boathouse on East River Street in Orange. SCREENSHOT

  • The lampposts in Orange center have been decorated for the season. STAFF PHOTOS/PAUL FRANZ

  • The lampposts in Orange center have been decorated for the season. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 12/15/2022 3:48:49 PM
Modified: 12/15/2022 3:48:20 PM

ORANGE — It’s that time of year again where the town’s lampposts take on an added flair for the holidays.

Twenty-six Orange businesses, nonprofits and clubs have decked out the public lampposts downtown as part of the Orange Merchants Group’s fifth annual lamppost-decorating contest.

“The lampposts look amazing,” said Orange Merchants Group member Julia Davis, who oversaw this year’s effort. “There’s a lot of diversity in people’s decorating styles.”

There are 26 decorated lampposts (with one named for each letter of the alphabet) throughout the main-streets intersection and an additional two (designated as “B1” and “B2”) at Riverfront Park. Orange Merchants Group member Tom Smith explained each group or entity pays $30 for a lamppost and contributes their own materials. People have until Dec. 29 to vote for their favorite lamppost on the town’s website at bit.ly/3FCLkln.

Smith said the winner will be announced at Starry Starry Night, the New Year’s Eve celebration organized each year by the volunteer Orange Revitalization Partnership. Davis said the winner receives “bragging rights.”

Each decorated lamppost generally has a theme, with some hinting at their sponsor’s identity by the knickknacks it carries. One lamppost is wrapped in blue garland. One is dotted with ornaments shaped like milkshakes, popsicles, cupcakes and doughnuts, while another is spiraled with red ornaments and giant pieces of fake popcorn, with a white basket labeled “It’s a Wonderful Life” near the base. There is one lamppost decorated as a chimney with a roaring fire, and one paying homage to “The Polar Express” with “round-trip tickets” as ornaments.

Smith mentioned the contest has reverted to its policy of keeping lampposts anonymous. He said having each lamppost bear its sponsors’ name is “just a whole other thing to do” and it invites the possibility of people voting for a particular one to benefit a particular group. Smith said the entry fees go toward purchasing holiday decorations for spots like Riverfront and Memorial parks.

Davis noted the lampposts took anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to complete.

“It’s as elaborate as you want it to be,” she said

Davis said she has already received positive feedback from people who have thanked her for helping to beautify the downtown area. She told the Greenfield Recorder she took the lead on contacting town businesses and organizations and working with the town to get a page about the contest onto the municipal website.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.


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