Updated:The holiday lights are going up today at Marvin’s Garden and the Bell Tower is being decorated with wreaths and ribbon, thanks to the In Ballard Merchants Association.
We’ve received several emails from people wondering when Santa will be at the bell tower this year. The In Ballard Merchants Association has sponsored Santa’s visit the last couple of years, but won’t be doing so this year. According to Inez Gray, the IBMA has shifted their dollars this year from weekly events to marketing. “In honor of our needs to have a truly amazing Holiday season this year, we decided to invest our marketing dollars in lights, social and on-line media, and promotion this year rather than events,” Gray writes in an email. “We will miss Santa for sure and will hope for his return to the Bell Tower next season.”
From David Bentler, Treasurer of the IBMA in comments: “It is true, we have decided to focus more on promoting Ballard via our social media and online presence. However, we were forced to do this due to a very disappointing response from participating merchants. We recently sent out a request to our association of awesome Ballard businesses to fund a holiday campaign similar to the last two years. However, we had fewer than 25 (out of over 100) merchants respond to the request and as a result, had to significantly cut back on the holiday lighting as well as drop the Santa and Hay Ride events entirely. We were very sad to do this, but we honestly could no longer afford to continue these events with the meager response from the merchants. If you want to make a difference, I would recommend talking to your local shop owner or merchant and encourage them to support these great events. Again, we are sorry that we couldn’t continue with last year’s events; but we hope you enjoy the beautiful lighting and decorations in Marvin’s Garden. And we look forward to brightening Ballard with holiday cheer next season.”