HOPEWELL, Va. -- A Hopewell business owner is hoping the lights that lit up the city during the holidays will stay on, even now that Christmas is over.
"It's a very easy solution and it definitely makes it feel like a better community down here,” said Crisman White, owner of Room ESC in downtown Hopewell.
White says he believes downtown Hopewell needs some light, especially after a difficult year for many during the pandemic.
"It's just dark, kind of dreary," he said.
But Crisman says the month of December brought light with it.
"Every year, the city will come in and put lights on all the trees down East Broadway and in the pavilion by the courthouse," said White.
Some downtown business owners agree with Crisman’s perception of the lights.
"It definitely brightens up everything," said another business owner.
But with the holidays behind us, Crisman wants to see a change by simply keeping the lights on year-round.
White says he sees the Christmas lights on the trees as a way to boost business year-round.
"I hope it not only draws more attention to the downtown Hopewell but it just gives a brighter perspective on Hopewell as a whole,” he added.
Larry Hancock, who owns Legacy Roasting Company, also agrees with the idea.
"Having additional lighting, it makes it a little bit more welcoming,” said Hancock.
Meredith Dean lives and owns Roja Taco Joint in downtown Hopewell. She's in favor of the idea too.
"I definitely think the lighting makes it more beautiful in downtown Hopewell and I also think the lighting does help people see what's going around,” said Dean.
White created a petition on Change.org to keep the Christmas lights on the trees year-round.
Heather Lyne, the Director of Hopewell Downtown Partnership, says she sees the additional lighting as a plus for the area.
"I think having lighting downtown at night is essential to everyone feeling like there's activity downtown, everyone feeling like they're safe and holiday lights just add a little bit of joy for everybody,” said Lyne.
CBS 6 reached out to Hopewell city leaders about the potential for lights on the trees to stay up past the beginning of the New Year.
The city said they like the idea of additional lights downtown but fear lights on the trees could hamper their growth. So, they are now looking at alternative ideas.
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