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Preparing cities for the holidays is no small task

By By ANNA M. LEE Assistant Editor
Every year Brewton and East Brewton deck the city halls and streets for Christmas.
Decorating Brewton for the holidays is a joint effort between the city and the Tree and Beautification Committee, said Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings.
Decorating a city for Christmas is no small job. It takes seven or eight people about two weeks to install Brewton's decorations, and they start the installation process one to two weeks before Thanksgiving, said Brewton public works director Danny Howard.
Besides the hard work invested, it takes money to dress the city in lights and banners. The approximate cost of all decorations being used this year is $100,000, Jennings said. "The decorations are costly, but we try to do some replacement and add to new areas every year."
In the past, storage of the decorations when it's not the holiday season has been a problem, but a few years ago a new storage building was built and now the decorations are kept there. Proper storage will extend the life of the decorations, Jennings said.
East Brewton also starts its city decorating effort a few weeks before Thanksgiving, according to Steve Dunaway, East Brewton street superintendent.
East Brewton kicks the holidays off with a tree lighting ceremony and a community-wide church service held the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Dunaway said, and all the decorations have to be in place by then.
Decorations in East Brewton include lighting for the big tree in the park, a "Season's Greetings" display, lights and decorations at city hall and street lights, with plans for more decorations next year, Dunaway said.
Businesses in downtown Brewton do their part to add to the holiday cheer too.
Under the coordination of Carol Gordy of NDI, participating downtown businesses hire an electrician to install their lighting and maintain it through the holiday season.
The businesses start planning for decoration in August and begin putting the lights up in October, Gordy said.