Downtown Holly Sparkles with New Lights in Battle Alley

Downtown Holly Sparkles with New Lights in Battle Alley

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 18, 2018)

Holly, MI – It’s the quaint little details that make Downtown Holly a memorable place for visitors, and a recent addition is shining even more light on what the community has to offer.

An installation of lights strung across Battle Alley was unveiled just before the village’s annual Holly Days Festival.  Children and adults danced in the soft glow, drawn to the lights and soft music that let people know that this was the place to be.

With historic storefronts on both sides and the proud Victorian turret of the Township Offices down the way, a lovely old train depot across the street, and the whistle of regular freighters chugging through, this brick-lined space is framed by character and charm.

Placemaking.  That’s the term used by planners and administrators with the knowledge of how creating an atmosphere can do wonders for a community – both in terms of quality of life, and in economics.

Downtown Holly, the Village of Holly, Holly Township, and the Holly Area Chamber of Commerce – along with other community organizations and event planners – have embraced the principles of placemaking over the past few years.  This includes the replacement of downtown trees, the addition of murals that resonate with the community’s history and future, signage, façade improvements by business owners, and most recently the strings of decorative lights.  This attention to detail has helped attract new businesses and new customers, making Holly a destination location that is often recognized with awards through Main Street Oakland County.

The lights are “Edison-style” LED bulbs that can handle most any kind of weather and are low in wattage.  A timer shuts them off before midnight during the week, and a little bit later on the weekends.

“The discussion of putting up lights across Battle Alley has been discussed for nearly 20 years.  The Holly Dickens Festival came to a DDA meeting last year and suggested the idea in front of the DDA Board members, stating that it would be a nice draw for visitors to the Dickens Festival.  The DDA took the suggestion and made it happen!  The new lighting adds an increased sense of safety and security and encourages nighttime walkability in a comfortable setting.  It also adds a romantic ambiance to the Alleyway, in a way ‘activating’ the space,” said DDA Director Katy Hughes.

The lights were paid for with two grants and a donation.  Genisys Credit Union granted $2,000, Flagstar Bank granted $2,500, and the Holly Dickens Festival donated $500.

The Holly Hotel sits at the corner of the alley, so the lights hang over their long wooden porch. “The Edison lights are perfect!  To me they symbolize the vibrant, fresh and ‘bringing together’ of our quaint and charming village of Holly. Katy Hughes DDA, and her team of forward thinking staff has polished up our historic community.  The lights are just one example,” said Holly Hotel Manager Chrissy Haas.

“Last night from the porch of the Holly Hotel, we saw families and couples walking in the alley, smiling and taking in the “new attraction” in Holly.  We counted car after car driving down Battle Alley at dusk taking pictures, smiling and even people dancing.  They came just to see and be able to share the ‘new lights on Battle Alley.’”

Proprietor George Kutlenios agreed “We love the lights!”

Learn more about Downtown Holly at http://www.mainstreetholly.com/

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