Centre Park Historic District Inc. will hold its annual tree lighting ceremony and neighborhood holiday party Saturday.
The free event is open to the public and includes a visit with Santa Claus. Complimentary popcorn and hot chocolate will be served.
“This will be the last year for the tree to be in the fountain,” said Councilman O. Christopher Miller, who represents District 6, which includes the historic district roughly between North Fifth Street and Centre Avenue from the 500 through the 1000 blocks.
The long-awaited renovations to the park in the 700 block of Centre Avenue are slated to begin in January, Miller said.
According to a city representative:
The beautification project will include installation of period-style ornamental lighting and benches intended to complement the late 19th and early 20th century buildings in the district.
An unfunctional water feature in the center of the park will be replaced with a three-tiered cast-iron fountain outfitted with colored lights that can be changed for the seasons.
A black wrought iron fence will be erected around the fountain for its protection and to help ensure public safety.
New bluestone paving, designed to mimic the spokes of a Reading Railroad steam engine, will be added around the center circular gathering space.
Period-style signs and an information kiosk also will be installed.
The park will be landscaped with low-maintenance native and period-appropriate plants and trees.
The approximately $1 million project will be funded with a combination of American Rescue Plan Act and city capital improvement funds. It is expected to be completed by mid-2024.
After the new fountain is installed, Miller said, the district will discontinue placing a Christmas tree in the fountain area.
Instead, he said, a specially selected evergreen that can be decorated for the holidays will be planted along the Centre Avenue side of the park.
If you go
What: Centre Park Historic District holiday tree lighting and neighborhood party
When: Saturday, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Where: Centre Park, 700 block of Centre Ave.
Source: Berkshire mont