Christmas banners, snowflakes hanging from lampposts, strands of lights strung across intersections — all of these are familiar ways that downtowns across America decorate for Christmas, both for the purpose of bringing cheer to local citizens and enticing those same citizens into downtown stores for Christmas shopping.
And then there is Grants Pass, Ore., where the locals take Christmas decorations to a whole new level. You might call it Level Wow. Eighteen Magical Musical Christmas Murals line the streets of downtown Grants Pass from early November through New Years.
Twelve inches thick, 10-feet tall and 5-feet wide, the murals are wired with miles of fiber optic cable and thousands of points of light. Each weighs 400 pounds. Apparently, it takes each mural 20 seconds to 30 seconds to tell it’s “story,” and, as I understand it, the stories include falling snow, ringing bells and gifts that magically show up under Christmas trees.
The murals were the brainchild of Brady Adams, a Grants Pass bank president, who wanted to help build community pride and boost the Grants Pass economy. The bank paid $14,000 for construction and installation of each mural, and also pays the cost of storing them and promoting them.
Heck, if I lived on the Oregon side of the United States, I’m sure I would make an effort to get up there and enjoy the decorations. The town of 26,000 is located in Oregon’s southwest corner, near Interstate 5.
Gotta go, I’m seriously checking airfares to the Northwest.