Last year, the Town of Millville’s first-ever holiday lights along Route 26 left some people saying, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christm… What the heck are those?”
Town Manager Debbie Botchie admitted that the lights were a little, well… different — which was what she had wanted. But not that different.
It turns out that the lights that were placed on the poles in Millville last year were not the ones Botchie ordered. Not exactly, anyway.
“They weren’t the right ones. I could see in the daytime it was the right frame, but not the right lights in them,” Botchie said.
The effect was that the lights — which were supposed to be fairly traditional, but with some extra flair — were just confusing for most people, who struggled to figure out what exactly they were supposed to be.
Botchie set out to right the situation.
“I got up with the company,” she said. “They came out here and said, ‘You’re absolutely right.’ They replaced them at no cost to us, and we ordered six more.” But last year, the “wrong” lights were already up, and it was too late to fix them.
The new, correct lights will soon appear, Botchie said.
“They’re, hopefully, putting them up this weekend,” she said.
The lights will eventually extend down Cedar Drive, Windmill Drive, Burbage Road and Substation Road, Botchie said.
Last year’s lighting snafu was particularly frustrating for Botchie, who had spent years trying to get the lights and who, for months, had been sharing different displays ideas with residents who stopped in at town hall, in an effort to get informal input into the design.
“I did not want the same things as every town. We wanted to be different,” she said — just not so different that passersby were scratching their heads every time they drove through Millville.
Now that the right lights are on the way, Botchie said she is ever hopeful that this is the beginning of a new tradition for the town.
“Each year we’ll add something,” she said.
By Kerin Magill