COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
A cyclist wheels past the new Christmas decorations strung along Princess Avenue near 10th Street on Tuesday evening. One strand of the old decorations can be seen remaining, at top.
Shining brightly in downtown Brandon, the city’s new Christmas decorations are finally up where they belong.
The first order of decorations was supposed to arrive in the Wheat City in September 2011, to be set up for last year’s holiday festivities. But they never made it to Brandon, as they were stopped at the Canada-United States border and eventually destroyed.
"It was a problem at the border. We believe the shipping company had the wrong address," said Perry Roque, the city’s community services director. "So they couldn’t ship them, or wouldn’t ship them because the address was wrong."
Roque said it’s unclear why they were destroyed instead of shipped back to the company.
"We never quite totally understood why, but we had never paid for them and it just seemed a shame that they were destroyed," he said. "Somebody thought it might have been something to do with security coming across the border."
Due to the mix-up, the City of Brandon still had funds for the lights, so they made a double order this year from the same company.
"We got our 2011 ones and 2012," Roque said. "We got two years worth of lights to install all in one year … We’re pleased to have them, we’re pleased that they were here in time to get them up for the Santa Claus parade to showcase them for the city ... They’re nice, new and they’re bright, (it’s) pretty exciting to see them there."
There’s a total of 10 new sets, with a red star design, that can be seen along Princess Avenue.
"We normally would buy five but this year we got 10," he said.
The cost was $38,000.
"We went with one style for one street to have consistency … We’ve heard lots of really positive feedback from the public."
The city will continue to use the older designs as well.
"Normally our practice is to take some of the older ones out of use and replace them with new ones," he said. "That’s a standard practice. Every year we try to replace a few of them."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 21, 2012