Annals of Commerce

I hereby offer to spend an $500 extra on Christmas gifts this holiday season, at downtown Charlottetown merchants, if the people behind the Maritime Electric Victorian Winter Festival do away with the abominable and inane Christmas lights that have littered the downtown for the past two years.

If I can find, say, 50 allies, that’s an additional $25,000 more in the pockets of downtown businesses. Which, I would hazard a guess, is significantly more than the light orgy results in. Takers?


steve rocker's picture
steve rocker on November 15, 2001 - 01:04 Permalink

I personally enjoy the gaudy excess of overdone X-mas light displays.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 15, 2001 - 01:04 Permalink

Try living across the street.

Alan McLeod's picture
Alan McLeod on November 15, 2001 - 01:22 Permalink

I applaude you but as I expect that the display sends away more than it attracts, rather than offer to spend $500.00 more downtown, I will offer to actually consider returning to and not shunning the downtown as part of my Christmas shopping pattern.

By the way, can anyone resurrect the impossibly inflated price claimed by MEC as its cost for the lights? I remember laughing out loud at the silliness of the claim but not the actual amount.

Charlie's picture
Charlie on November 15, 2001 - 16:30 Permalink

Used to work diagonally across from the Confed Centre at a local computer shop and I always enjoyed the lights on the walls of the Centre, as well as the downtown decorations in general. Last year I went down for the official lighting and there was quite a large number of people who braved the cold to celebrate. Perhaps the grinch should close his curtains!

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 15, 2001 - 18:10 Permalink

I am not anti-Christmas, anti-ritual, anti-celebration nor even anti-lights. I am anti-ugly, and the lights are garrish. For me it’s all about aesthetics. My offer is simply this: I am willing to invest more in my community if my community gets less ugly.

Alan McLeod's picture
Alan McLeod on November 15, 2001 - 18:17 Permalink

Ditto, Peter! I am a bit anti-Victoriana but that just is a sub-class of ther relevant garrish issue here.

Sandy Nicholson's picture
Sandy Nicholson on November 16, 2001 - 02:28 Permalink

I must admit I do like lights, but I strongly disagree with such a waste of energy! I would hate to have that electricity bill.

Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on November 16, 2001 - 21:01 Permalink

I’d hate to have that electricity bill,” says Sandy… Unless you have your own power supply, I’d dare say you do, in your own small way, have that electricity bill.

I don’t like the lights. I can’t get past the wasted energy and money that it costs. Perhaps, as Peter says, it was less ugly, I’d be more appreciative.

The whole Wintertide “Festival” bugs me, actually. Seems that if someone puts a hat on a horse, they feel they have the right to call it a festival. I’m embarrassed by some of the ‘events’ that occur during this two-month long celebration. The Ch’town xmas parade is so local-yokle. But then, so is the Gold Cup parade, and don’t get me started on that… that is all.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 16, 2001 - 21:39 Permalink

To Rob MacD: unfortunately you hit on the wrong example here: Sandy has written in this space how her family is indeed off the grid, powering their home with solar. But your point is taken.

Kevin O's picture
Kevin O on November 16, 2001 - 23:00 Permalink

Garish is a good word. I saw “ugly” and “silliness” too. All good words for this bonanza of unimaginative festing.

That aside, what I find hard to square is how this intersects with the “green power” initiative that MEC / Fortis launched recently. Perhaps if they put up a functional windmill to generate the power (al la the Netherlands — where Santa came from in the first place) or put a human-sized tread mill so those who like this gluttonous waste can power it themselves.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 16, 2001 - 23:02 Permalink

Kevin (and Sandy), you’re right: although my comments were aesthetically based, there’s an energy issue here. The entire lights orgy is akin to setting up a booth selling steaming cups of pork lard in the centre of town: not healthy for anyone.

Lana's picture
Lana on December 15, 2002 - 18:12 Permalink

Count yourself fortunate that you don’t live in North Rustico at this time of year…

Also, how offensive is a 100 Watt baby Jesus, really?

Lana's picture
Lana on December 15, 2002 - 18:14 Permalink

Oh, and in the spirit of the Victorian era… garish *is* actually the style. Check out any heritage wallpaper book.