Green holiday wreathes with bright Christmas-red bows have been appearing on poles along some downtown Pittsburgh streets, bringing comments and questions from some residents and visitors about holiday decorations have popped up in October.
VIDEO: Watch Bob Mayo’s report
They first appeared on Grant Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, and now also line Fifth Avenue from Grant Street to Liberty Avenue.
“I do think they’re starting to decorate (for Christmas). Because it’s like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, all at once. It might be too much,” laughed Yvette, of the Hill District, who declined to provide her last name.
“It’s a little early. It’s a little early,” said Paul Frey, of Mt. Lebanon. “It’s not even Halloween yet.”
Others who spoke with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 felt that it’s never too early, even if the holidays may blur together.
“We could put some turkeys out here. Some nice little jack-o-lanterns out here. Some Christmas trees out here. We could do it all at one time. How about that?” joked Chachi Papavich.
We put the question to Mayor Bill Peduto: Is it too soon?
“Yeah, it is, but it’s also new. We haven’t done this before,” Peduto said.
By “this”, he means making these holiday decorations light up. That extra work requires new electrical wiring and extra time to test the connections and performance.
“If you go to any other city, they are decorated. In Pittsburgh, we didn’t even have the plugs in the poles to be able to hang lights,” Peduto said. “The company that has been hired (to install the decorations, lighting and power outlets) is basically creating a system. And if we start late, we may miss ‘Light Up Night.'”
So, how much does all this cost, and who’s paying for it?
The price tag is $80,000 — but at no cost to taxpayers. It’s a foundation’s gift to the city for Pittsburgh’s bicentennial.
“Colcom Foundation wrote a grant to help us to start to put Christmas decorations up in our city,” Peduto said.
Other people who spoke with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 said they had no problem with the early arrival of the holiday decorations.
“I love it,” said Duquesne University student Emily Solecki. “I love Christmas.”
Meanwhile, the city’s official Christmas tree will arrive downtown a week from Saturday, but it won’t be illuminated until Light Up Night on Nov. 18.