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Successful fundraising effort helps to continue ‘Christmas Street’ tradition in SLC

Nov 29, 2023, 12:07 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — With its iconic sign, “Christmas Street” on the city’s east side is once again lit up for the holidays after a successful fundraising effort facilitated some much-needed repairs.

Located east of 1500 East on Glen Arbor Street, Christmas lights had become an annual tradition over 76 years.

“It started in 1947,” resident Emma Thatcher said. “Residents of the street just strung a string of lights between every home and I think there was a candle in each window.”

As the holiday season began to approach this year, the neighborhood display faced some significant obstacles with a broken sign and bent pole.

“It was kind of just up in the air as to what would happen,” Thatcher said.

However, when a fundraising effort caught traction and drew public attention, the community rallied.

“We’re almost to $7,000 and I’m so beyond grateful,” Thatcher said.

She said the neighborhood raised enough money that it should be able to set up a savings account and use the interest to pay future electricity bills.

“We shouldn’t have to ask the community every few years for help,” she said. “Most of us haven’t been here the whole time but it’s really special to be part of that story.”

The neighborhood, in keeping with the area’s tradition, planned to bring back a ‘Santa party’ on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thatcher said the street would shut down to cars during that time but walkers would be welcome to meet Santa and celebrate the holiday season.

Visitors on Tuesday night said the neighborhood glowed a little extra this year.

“I mean, they’ve really stepped it up,” said Caryl Ayres, who brought her kids. “We can’t get over the beautiful lights.”

Isaac Asiata said he’d visited the neighborhood since college.

“Once we started having kids, we started bringing the kids to come check it out,” Asiata said. “I think it’s awesome. I think it’s great that they’re willing to do this for people to come and that it’s become, I’m sure, a big tradition for a lot of families.”

Thatcher said she was glad to be able to continue the tradition.

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Successful fundraising effort helps to continue ‘Christmas Street’ tradition in SLC