Pak N Save, one of our local supermarkets, already is constructing a Christmas display on its sales floor; some other stores have Thanksgiving displays on their sales floors and in their windows, so we’re getting a jump on the holiday season, which might be good for once. The midterm election just past hasn’t been very jolly, and celebrating the holidays just a little bit early might come as a relief.
In other towns, maybe, that would be true. But not so much here.
One of the things our town lacks is a central Christmas tree. A lot of cities have big trees on the town square, or somewhere else in a central location. A shopping center might have a large Christmas trees, and the lighting of that tree becomes a civic occasion with Christmas carols accompanied by a band.
We do have the Candlelight Christmas parade coming up, in which tractors and work trucks are decorated and driven along Yosemite Avenue for a quick trip.
But that parade has dwindled over the past few years, especially since the wine tasting “trail” that went along with the parade dried up after a woman injured herself by stumbling off a curb.
Naturally, she sued, and collected, so the wine tasting was no more.
But the parade lost a lot of its pull — audience pull, that is — and the parade has been getting shorter every year.
Maybe the lighting of a huge Christmas tree would fix that. Whether it would be downtown or at a shopping center, a community tree-lighting would start the season out with the right spirit.
It’s probably too late to plan such a thing this year, unless somebody already has done the work necessary to make such a thing a reality.
But it would be nice if an event such as that could open Madera’s Christmas season, providing nearby stores with a holiday-season kickoff and many of the city’s citizens with some pre-holiday fun that they now have to go out of town to experience.
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The Wall Street Journal is telling us that waterfront property is becoming less desirable than before, primarily because increasingly more powerful hurricanes and floods are making it too scary and too expensive to live on those once-highly-desired properties.
That’s not something we have to worry about here, of course — or do we? In the days before Hidden Dam was built, a seasonally flooding Fresno River would inundate farms, houses and even downtown Madera. Pictures of people rowing down Gateway Drive can be found on pages of the Madera Tribune in those flood years.
Some city property owners in recent years have been surprised to find they have to buy flood insurance in order to qualify for new mortgages.