JONESBORO, LA (KTVE/KARD)– This year the Grinch didn’t steal Christmas, but COVID-19 almost did for residents of Jonesboro, Louisiana.
“Everyone wants the lights and everyone is trying to do their part to have the lights,” said Johnny Horton, President of Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce.
Jonesboro residents are banning together to save Christmas for the whole town. It was going to be a dark holiday season due to the pandemic and the town not having the funds to put up their usual Christmas lights throughout Jonesboro.
“People were saying “We have to have lights, Jonesboro has to have lights.” So, everyone has just come together with suggestions and bring the community together. People want to get out and do things,” said Horton.
As a result, the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce and the City of Jonesboro came up with a solution. The city would still put up lights on town property, but the local businesses would have to put up their own. One business owner says she doesn’t mind as it wouldn’t be a “Christmas Wonderland in the Pines” without the lights.
“We know the community is kind of struggling right now. We want to offer them a good time. Something that they are used to. We are pretty much known for this in Jonesboro, so we are going to do our part and help in the community where we can,” said Amber Lowe, owner of Grit and Grace.
These Christmas lights have gone up every year since 1983. However, they’re more important than just making the town festive.
“For our small businesses, the lights have always been something that is very important. It gets a lot of foot traffic out. Some people may not know a lot of these businesses are here, so they get the opportunity to kind of explore and see what we have to offer,” said Lowe.
The chamber of commerce has set up a donation account at the Jackson Parish bank that will help by lights for small businesses. On Saturday, volunteers will be out in the community helping put up the lights on businesses in the community.