Christmas Lights in August
The Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau (DSVB) has a message for the Dripping Springs community, “We know it’s hot outside, but let’s talk about Christmas lights.” Specifically, DSVB is raising $7,500 for Christmas lights, with a looming deadline of August 31, to earn a matching grant of $2,500 from the Dripping Springs Community Foundation.
Noticing an ongoing issue with a lack of Christmas lights in the Historical District, and after receiving calls and seeing many posts on social media complaining about the lack of holiday decorations, Pam Owens, President/CEO of DSVB, applied for a matching grant through the Dripping Springs Community Foundation to cover the cost of purchasing Christmas lights for historic Mercer Street.
“Every year we hear people grumble about our lack of Christmas lights,” Owens, a thirty-five-year resident, said. “So, let’s do something about it this year.”
To this end, the DSVB, a 501 (c)3 charitable non-profit organization was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Dripping Springs Community Foundation-- but the grant came with one key stipulation; it must be matched by August 31 with $7,500 in separate donations to receive the full awarded amount. The full $10,000 will allow the DSVB to purchase commercialgrade holiday decorations for designated business locations along historic Mercer Street.
The reason the money is being raised, Owens explained, is that the City of Dripping Springs does not have a lot of available funds in the budget to improve on existing decorations. Likewise, most merchants within downtown Dripping Springs and the historical district are small businesses who also lack budgets for community decoration. “So, it’s important to take advantage of this opportunity and raise the money now, while the matching grant is available,” Owens said.
To meet the matching goal, the DSVB is launching a campaign to “Light Up Historic Mercer Street” and is asking the community to help make the holidays a little brighter this year by contributing a tax-deductible donation of $20 or more. Each $20 donation will purchase a 50-bulb string of lights that will help transform historic Mercer Street into a Winter Wonderland. Funding also includes installation, removal and storage of the lights. “The goal is for a big selection of lights, so that each area of the street has different lighting, making Dripping Springs unique,” Owens said.
Owens said she believes raising the money now is also important from an economic perspective. She explained that while most towns in our area, like Johnson City, Fredericksburg, and Wimberley have ornate and festive holiday displays perfectly ordained around the town centers, the Christmas decorations in Dripping Springs have often been described as lack-luster. “The majority of visitors to other Hill Country towns pass through Dripping Springs where the few holiday trimmings make it appear that our community has nothing special to offer. Consequently, our spectacular neighbors reap the benefits of holiday economic prosperity and community spirit. People go and spend an evening in those other townshaving dinner there and shopping there, instead of in our restaurants and shops,” Owens said.
“The Visitors Bureau is happy to help ‘light up Mercer Street,’” Owens said, “Each individual, family, HOA or organization who donates, will have their names on a banner prominently displayed on Mercer Street throughout the holidays. Our goal is to light up Mercer Street from east to west then next we’ll go to historic Old Fitzhugh Road. This is a great way to better our community.”
To make an online donation by August 31 visit www.destinationdrippingsprings.com/holidays or drop off a donation check at the Visitors Bureau at 509 Mercer Street, or by mail to P.O. Box 206, Dripping Springs, TX 78620. Donations are tax deductible. For additional information, contact DSVB at (512) 858-4740.
About the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau:
The Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to promoting tourism, providing residents with community information and supporting the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce and the City of Dripping Springs in their missions.