‘Light Up Corydon’ may go dark without help
“Light Up Corydon,” the popular pre-Christmas event on the square in Corydon, may be held for the last time this December unless organizers get more local leadership and financial support.
That was the message that Jenny Rog and Candice Yancey gave the Corydon Town Council Monday night. Rog and Yancey lead the Historic Corydon Business Association, which has sponsored the annual event that includes a dazzling exhibit of thousands of white lights all over the square, Santa’s arrival, and a musical program on the gazebo the past few years.
However, Rog said, downtown business people who support the event are extremely busy at that time of the year and can no longer give it all the time it requires.
“We are struggling as a downtown and as individual merchants,” Rog said. “A minimum of five say, ‘If we can make it through Christmas, we’ll be lucky.’ ”
Rog said the merchants association used to rely on Corydon Capital State Historic Site officials to put up the lights, but the state withdrew three or four years ago. Lately, the merchants had raised money to hire Virgil Kintner’s crew to check and put up the lights.
“We can’t do it any longer,” Rog said. “This is a very critical situation.”
The association’s $6,000 budget is hard pressed, and so the association is looking for private donations to provide the lighting again this year.
Rog told the town trustees that the merchants association is looking for creative thinking, advice and cooperative leadership support from organizations like the town board, Main Street Corydon, and the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County. Rog emphasized that “Light Up Corydon” has been going on for 20 years and she doesn’t want to see it die.
Yancey said there’s a good possibility that the merchants organization may become a committee under the Main Street Corydon umbrella, in order to combine resources and avoid duplication of efforts.
Town council president Fred Cammack said he thinks the merchants could turn to the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau for support, although Rog said she knows the bureau’s main function is to promote events, not support them financially.
Yancey said the argument they usually hear is that “Light Up Corydon” only benefits local businesses, but she said it attracts people from all over the region, including Louisville, and the benefits spread beyond Corydon to stores like service stations, restaurants and hotels throughout the area.
The board promised to consider their requests.
In other action Monday night — before the trustees adjourned to attend the Harrison County Council meeting to request the continuation of riverboat revenue — the trustees approved a payment of $197,338 to Insituform for sewer line rehabilitation. Insituform has almost finished its work. The town is holding back $22,000 until the project is done.
At its Aug. 13 meeting, the trustees agreed to purchase a parking lot from Union Planters Bank at the corner of West Chestnut and South Water streets. The ground there has been tested to see if any gasoline had leaked from the site of a former service station across the street, but the ground checked out all right, Cammack said.
The town will pay $15,000 for the ground. No use has been specified yet, but Cammack said it may be used for town employee parking.
The town accepted Corydon Stone and Asphalt’s bid for $36,848 to pave several streets. The only other bidder was Gohmann Asphalt and Construction of Clarksville, which bid $40,500.
The streets that will be paved, beginning in mid-September, are:
1. Mulberry Street, from Walnut Street to High Street;
2. Ridley Street, from S.R. 337 north to Cook Street;
3. Budd Road, from Wyandotte Avenue to town limits;
4. William Street, from alley east of S.R. 337 east to end of street;
5. Country Club Road, a 275-foot area south of the Corydon Intermediate School parking lot;
6. Highland Avenue, from Higdon Street east to end of street;
7. Elliot Avenue, from Mulberry Street to Farquar Avenue;
8. Ashberry Drive, patch area 151 by 21 feet;
9. Wilson Street, from Loweth Avenue to Thomas Street (contingent on sewer job completion);
10. Hillview Drive, patch area 85 by 24 feet, and
11. Cedar Hill Cemetery, from Maple Street (east gate) to a point 700 feet northwest.
The town also accepted Paul Kiger’s bid of $6,525 to replace the roof on the Town Hall.