It’s been 16 years since Linden Boulevard in St. Albans has been lit up with decorations for the holiday season, but thanks to a group of community activists, the festive lights are back.
“We fought really hard to get these back,” said Allen Poe, president of the St. Albans Chamber of Commerce. “The chamber was determined to get the lights back up and make Linden Boulevard an attraction for consumers.”
The chamber was instrumental in getting the lights up along the shopping corridor. Members went from door to door through the business strip asking for donations to pay for the decorations and were able to raise enough for the project. The lights run for a stretch of about one and a half miles from Linden Boulevard and Francis Lewis Boulevard to the VA Hospital, located at 179-00 Linden Blvd.
“We hope to put the lights up every year from now on,” Poe said. “This is only part of our plan to make the community a better place to live and work.”
Poe was not sure why the lights stopped going up after 1998. He did mention that they are not cheap to get done and that he is still looking for more contributions to be able to pay the second portion of the bill, which will be due when the lights come down in mid-January.
“They’re fantastic,” said Thasia Chin, a real estate broker. “It’s very festive and makes the businesses and the boulevard very noticeable.”
Poe and other members of the chamber hope that next year the lights will be brighter and that they will be able to expand them throughout more of the neighborhood. Members of the chamber honored Poe with kind words about his dedication to the community.
“I admire Allen,” said Winnie Benjamin, a member of the chamber. “He told me he was going to get these lights up this year and look, now they’re up.”