PHILIPSBURG–Philipsburg is expected to come alive with lights for the Christmas holiday season thanks to an elaborate Christmas lighting project for town being planned by the Philipsburg Promotional Board (PPB).
The project is projected to cost NAf. 150,000 and PPB is hoping that government will contribute half of the cost for the initiative and stakeholders the remaining half in what it hopes will be a public/private partnership.
PPB told The Daily Herald on Monday that it has been successful this year in making its Christmas lighting project a reality for Philipsburg. Last year’s event had to be cancelled because GEBE was busy reconnecting clients after the 2017 hurricanes and was unable to fully work with PPB for the project. GEBE is on board this year to help make it a reality, PPB official Valentin Davis said last night.
Decorations have been ordered and are currently on a boat en route to St. Maarten, and the first phase of the lighting project is to be installed by December 1. Two other phases will be done in the early part of December.
The Christmas lighting project will include lighting up parts of Front Street, the area around the Courthouse, Cyrus Wathey Square and Boardwalk Boulevard. The project is themed “Christmas 2018 – Philipsburg Alive After Five.”
PPB’s aim is to create an attraction that will motivate residents and tourists to frequent downtown Philipsburg and encourage afternoon shopping traffic in stores that will be open in the area, dining in the restaurants and bars, and gambling in the casinos, while enhancing the capital’s social environment.
“This project is sure to enhance the festive season and boost the Christmas holiday shopping and evening dining in the capital. The island residents and tourists are always seeking out new social gathering areas and the attractive Boardwalk, beach and ocean scenery throughout the day- and night-time, Philipsburg setting with its two main shopping streets and connecting alleys, make the capital worthy of investing in such a project and grow its economy.”
An official grand opening event is expected to be held in December. PPB believes its initiative will influence new job creation in the restaurant sector, influence hotel occupancy growth in the town area and grow jobs in all areas of retail and the service industry in and around the capital.
“PPB is confident that initiating this project will influence growth in both the day-time and night-time economy of the island’s capital. The Christmas lighting will be installed up to the end of January; however, the more generic decorative lights will remain installed for enhancement of the town centre and Boardwalk,” PPB said.
PPB is inviting businesses to contribute to the initiative by contacting its treasurer Peter Mirpuri at tel. 559-1757 or its Philipsburg initiatives director Arthur Lugisse at tel. 587-9367.