Friday letters: Vista Lights needs a real tree

December 6, 2013 

— Columbians, you should celebrate the success that is Vista Lights; surely a staple of your mid-November calendar for years to come.

Having attended the festival twice now, I remain impressed at how thoughtfully the city, and presumably a dedicated group of local merchants and volunteers, execute the event. Parking and traffic are well managed. Uniformed police keep a low profile. Pedestrians yield to baby strollers. Restaurants let non-paying customers use bathrooms.

Any city would be proud to host an event that can attract all walks while disturbing so few.

But the Christmas tree fails you, Vista. I passed no less than six trucks hauling pine trees, presumably toward local mills, on my way to Columbia from Charlotte. Surely one could be culled out for lights and decoration. That you light a shrub outside of a kayak shop leaves too much to be desired.

Perhaps next year I will be greeted at the corner of Gervais and Lincoln streets with a sign that reads “This year’s tree and lights have been graciously donated by your friends at Georgia Pacific Corporation, Merry Christmas.” It’s never too late to go commercial.

Dan Archabal

Braintree, Mass.

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