Downtown businesses prepare for weekend’s holiday celebrationPublished 8:00am Friday, November 22, 2013
While many households are just now preparing for their annual Thanksgiving feasts, a number of area businesses are decking out their storefronts with a little bit of holiday regalia.
Only hours away from the kickoff of this weekend’s Christmas Open House Weekend, Dowagiac’s downtown slowly transformed itself Thursday, with light poles sporting evergreen wreaths, adorned with red ribbons. Even the rooftops of few local businesses got into the festivities, their rooftops lined with LED string lights that people use to decorate their homes during the holiday season.
The flourish of activity proceeds’ the beginning of the Open House Weekend, which starts at 9 a.m. Friday. Over 15 downtown locations were in the process of having the lighting fixtures attached to them by the husband and wife team of Beth and Ron Pierson.
Using a mechanical boom lift to reach the building tops, the couple went to locations like John Scott Insurance and Edward Jones Investments, installing the decorative lighting Thursday morning. The two work in tandem to complete each location, with Ron gluing down the iron plate to the roof of each building and affixing the string lights on top while Beth, sporting a bright yellow construction vest and red Santa cap, directs traffic below.
“It usually takes around an hour to complete,” Beth Pierson said. “It seems like forever when you’re just standing here, watching him.”
Once the lights are installed, the owners are free to use them for as long as they want, though the couple recommends that they have them taken down after 90 days, Beth Pierson said. Typically, businesses will only have to pay an additional $15 a month in electricity costs.
The Piersons own and operate their own business, Christmas For Rent.com. Based out of Battle Creek, Mich., the couple travels all around the state of Michigan, affixing lighting and other seasonal decor for both businesses and residences.
“We’re originally from the east side of the state, though my husband’s family grew up here in Dowagiac,” Beth said.
The Christmas Open House Weekend begins at 9 a.m. Friday and runs until 4 p.m. Sunday. Throughout the three-day long event, visitors will be able to shop at local businesses with extended holiday hours, and will be able to participate in a number of interactive events as well. A full schedule of events is available on the City of Dowagiac’s webpage, http://www.cityofdowagiac.com/dowagiac/assets/File/Christmas%20Open%20House%20Weekend%20Flyer.pdf.