County: Washington County
Population: Less than 5,000
2017 Local Government Achievement Award WINNER (Second Place)
Village Hall: (518) 642-2640
The Village of Granville was approached by the local Chamber of Commerce approximately six years ago to form a partnership in decorating their community for the holidays. Over the years, the decorating efforts have grown exponentially, from 20,000 lights to more than 100,000 in the village. The village also co-sponsors the show in Veterans Park where 30,000 lights dance synchronized to holiday music. The lighting generally draws 2,500-3,000 patrons and nightly shows broadcast on FM station 89.3 to allow constituents to view the show from the comfort of their vehicles. Restaurants, bars and retailers report two-three times normal business on the night of the event.
The village also has a second program where they decorate and focus on Main Street including swags, pole decorations, trees and holiday music to promote the goodwill of the season. The village’s DPW generally installs the high decorations on poles, but they do no more than 20% of the installation. The Holiday Decorating Committee now numbers some 30 members from numerous businesses, civic organizations, non-profits, etc. The Committee meets 3-4 times beginning in October, partners with the school to refurbish and prepare the decorations, then 20-25 volunteers install everything in November. They have a school music teacher who handles the sound and a local engineer who helps with the technical issues. The equipment used to synchronize the lights to the music is provided by a company in Hudson Falls, just 30 minutes away.
The Chamber originally invested just $500 purchasing a large quantity of surplus decorations from Six Flags Amusement Parks. The village generally invests $1,000-$3,000 annually in this program. Last year a local Credit Union, Great Meadow Federal Credit Union, was so impressed with the show that they committed $7,500 per year for five years to sustain and improve the program.
The Holiday Decorating Program features many partnerships with other organizations. The Chamber provides a visit from Santa and gifts for all children (some 380 this year) on the night of the lighting. The Legion & VFW auxiliaries provide more than 1,000 cookies and cocoa to patrons. Dunkin’ Donuts provides coffee and donuts. The Chamber also provides free horse and wagon rides featuring some of the more decorated portions of the village. The Slate Valley Museum provides free hats and crafts to children and hosts a festival of trees. The Pember Library hosts a festival of wreaths and a large holiday market. The Boy Scouts provide warming fires and smores. The fire department decorates their trucks and leads a parade through town. All of these activities have grown out of that first simple partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and the village.