Boonville can't afford to fix Christmas lights, finds alternatives

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BOONVILLE - Christmas decorations and events around Mid-Missouri aim to get people in the Christmas spirit, but the decorations in Boonville are a bit different this year.

Lights that line the tops of buildings in Boonville will not be turned on this year because the cost of lighting them is too much. So Boonville Tourism set aside $10,000 to put up other decorations. 

Boonville Tourism Director Katie Gibson said fixing the lights would cost $70,000. 

"A lot of the bulbs are starting to get undone and you know going out and it just doesn't look as good anymore. So they've been turned off," Gibson said.

She said it is a sore subject with Boonville residents. 

"A lot of people like them, but it's going to take a lot of money to do that. Everyone has an opinion about it but no one wants to help pay for it," Gibson said. 

Ruth Calbert owns a shop in downtown Boonville and said she thinks Christmas decorations help bring people into her store. She also said the shops downtown are growing. 

"I see it growing really, really well," Calbert said. 

Her employee Maurice Martin said he wants the old Christmas lights. He said it would brighten the holiday season in Boonville. 

"I hope everybody gets out and you know enjoys the Christmas season and help Boonville out to get our lights and stuff back," Martin said. 

Gibson said a future goal is to set up a drive-by lights display in Rolling Hills Park. 

"We would like to continue amping up the downtown, or set up the drive-by light display. It is definitely something we keep investing in each year," Gibson said. 

She said Boonville Tourism aims to continue to make Boonville a Christmas destination.