ROOTSTOWN, Ohio – Rose Stevens says she and her family were driving to get their Christmas tree when they couldn’t help but notice the decorations in communities like nearby Randolph Township.
“I was like look at how pretty. They have things on their poles; there are lights everywhere. It’s just so pretty,” said Rose.
The couple wondered what it would take to have their community equally as brightly adorned.
“We have been here for about ten years and just haven’t seen a lot of decorations so I just thought I am going to make a mention of it on the community web page and I had a few people come back and say well, you are going to be the guy to do this since you opened your mouth,” said Bill.
The Stevens say what followed was something they didn’t exactly expect.
“Two-hundred responses later and people sending things from Iowa that used to live here and the fire department that’s going to be helping out some people. They have lent us a boom truck to be able to decorate the tree and the town square,” said Bill.
Commitments for help from the Rootstown Fire Department, wreaths for utility poles from the Chamber of Commerce and assistance from local churches.
People who could not be there to help on Sunday dropped off decorations at the Zoning Board Office including lights, ornaments, custom Santa hats and a Santa suit.
“I think it’s really exciting because I also live in the center of town so I like seeing it decorated and growing up in past years I remember where it’s been looking really nice,” said Jordan Michael, zoning board secretary.
The fire department volunteered to help put a star on top of a tree that will be decorated in front of the First Congregational Church where a lighting ceremony with snacks, hot chocolate and music is envisioned following the event.
The Stevens say they have never done anything like it before so they still don’t exactly know what or who to expect for their Rootstown Light Up Night event.
They continue to welcome all contributions of decorations, with a preference of decorations in Rootstown colors of Rover blue, white and silver.
The community effort will get under way at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“It’s been a while; it’s been 10 years, maybe longer, I heard back in the 80s, I guess, we are trying to resurrect that a little bit — to bring the community together. I think that in the world we live in today, I think it’s big to have that community spirit that I just don’t think most people have,” said Bill.