Holiday Lights May Be Coming, But Not From HAMA

Holiday Lights May Be Coming, But Not From HAMAPhoto: Amy Stephenson/Hoodline
Amy Stephenson
Published on November 10, 2014
Remember last year, when the Haight Ashbury Merchants Association raised funds from merchants to decorate the street for the holidays? They raised $10k, which, believe it or not, is what it costs to string lights in the trees all the way down the street from Masonic to Stanyan. In addition to the supplies and the labor, there are insurance costs involved as well. 
This year, however, HAMA won't be decking the halls, and instead will be encouraging individual merchants to take the task on themselves. 

HAMA has been primarily responsible for the beautification of the retail corridor for the last several years, trying everything from small white twinkle lights to more ambitious "art trees". The street attracts tons of holiday shoppers, as you well know, so we're curious to see how festive things feel this year without HAMA officially taking charge on the holiday decoration front. 

We reached out to HAMA treasurer Christin Evans to find out what the plan for this year would be. She told us that the holiday lights take up about two-thirds of the organization's funding for the year, often costing up to $12k. This year, members of HAMA have elected a more DIY approach, and will be encouraging merchants to decorate their own storefronts, including the trees outside their stores, using their own funding.

In 2012, HAMA ran a contest through Hoodline to see which holiday window displays readers liked the best. They're still undecided as to whether that'll happen again this year. 

With the holidays quickly approaching, we're curious what you think. How would you like to see the street lit up for the holidays this year?