December 7, 2006

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Concord Publisher's Note: A special time of year
By Dan Szczesny

Ah, the holiday season...the sounds of good cheer, the jingle of the merchant doorbell, the shuffle of feet enjoying a hay ride and voices caroling door to door.

Unfortunately for Concord this year, the sounds most often heard have been the honk and blare of backed-up traffic on Loudon Road, the howling whistle of wind and rain drenching Midnight Merriment and the thundering call of ‘Timber!’ as the State House Christmas tree came down on the Nativity scene.

Sometimes, you just have to laugh.

But I guess the city should not feel bad. No one was hurt in the Christmas tree incident and crews had the old boy back up the next day as good as new. Plus, as a bonus, no one has yet complained that the Christmas tree is called a “Christmas” tree. Just think of those poor folks in Hillsboro who had to endure the latest secular vs. religious controversy. Though perhaps the fact that it was inclement weather that caused the tree to crash down on Jesus’ crib is a sign of something.

As for Midnight Merriment, I can’t remember the last time the event was spoiled by bad weather. It was only a matter of time before luck ran out. But that’s what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket.

Main Street Concord now needs to step up, perhaps with the help of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, to attend to the Main Street merchants in other ways.

Christmas is still three weeks away. There’s plenty of time for another event or a collaborative marketing campaign to bring the shoppers downtown and away from the malls. Maybe Main Street could help sponsor a rain-out sale!

Finally, let’s get the holiday parade off Loudon Road. It makes no sense, or dollars and cents for that matter, to have the parade run down an unattractive, strip mall street. Who wants to sit in front of a gas station and watch a parade?

Concord has so much to offer at any time of year, but I’d be interested in hearing what some of your favorite memories are, or if you have suggestions for future city holiday seasons. E-mail me at dszczesny@hippopress.com.