Oak trees along Main Street were decorated with strings of LED lights in time for the holiday season Wednesday, but the lights are intended to be a permanent fixture downtown.
The lights were installed as part of a project spearheaded by the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association and funded by the Downtown Improvement District. In total, 22 oak trees along the 1300, 1400 and 1500 block of Main Street were outfitted with the lights.
The instillation comes as the Downtown Improvement District debates whether or not to add a new lighting system to Five Points Park. The last system, which was turned off after the DID determined maintenance expenses were too high, cost $81,000 to purchase.
The DID received a proposal for an upward-projecting color-change LED light system that would cost about $136,000 to purchase and install in the park. The company that submitted the proposal, Candela Controls, also offered a similar setup with static white lights for about $91,000.
Next Thursday, the DID is holding a tree lighting demonstration workshop in Five Points Park at 6 p.m. Candela Controls will provide an example of the color-change and white light systems for the DID and other interested parties. The DID will also showcase the newly installed Main Street lights as a third potential option to light the park; those lights cost about $14,000 to install.
For more information, contact David Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org.