Central Park Christmas Tree Proposed

Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership Plans A New Christmas Tree

Winter Time in Downtown Johnstown

Central Park at Christmas

I was mildly dismayed last week when I read in the Tribune Democrat of Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership’s plans for a new Christmas tree to cover the Pasquerilla Fountain in Central Park.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to the idea of the new holiday feature in CP, but I’m not in love with the plan to erect it over the Pasquerilla Fountain.

The Vague History of Memory

The Old Central Park Fountain

The Old Central Park Fountain

When I was a kid, there was a thousand foot high flag pole in Central Park. At least I think it was that high. Six decades does funny things to the memory. It made sense back then to string lights from the pole in the shape of a Christmas tree. Some time in the 60’s (“if you can remember the 60’s, you weren’t really there) the flag pole was replaced by a fairly nondescript, unnamed fountain.

Pasquerilla Fountain at Christmas

Pasquerilla Fountain at Christmas

When the lights were on and the water flowed, the fountain was pretty enough, but, as the weather turned, we ended up with an ugly plywood crate in the middle of a brick encircled pit. Again, it made perfect sense to string up a Christmas tree of lights over the old fountain.

Back to The Present, for the Time Being

Pasquerilla Fountain at Christmas

Pasquerilla Fountain at Christmas

Today, we have the charming Pasquerilla Fountain in the heart of Johnstown’s Central Park, and, decorated for the holidays, this fountain more than holds its own as a downtown feature. There is no good reason, other than nostalgia, to conceal the fountain through the holidays, and often well beyond. I suggest the decorated fountain remain as is, and the plans be modified to make the tree an additional feature of the park and the downtown.

So What’s Your Big Idea, Bright Boy?

Pasquerilla Fountain at Christmas

Pasquerilla Fountain at Christmas

Well, if I were king, and admittedly I’m not, I’d seek the funds to relocate the Memorial to Service Men and Women from where it obstructs the front and center of the Gazebo entertainment area. Moving the memorial to its own dedicated space, say near the corner of Locust and Park Place (wait, is that Gazebo Park now, or something?), would, I think, increase the respect for, and deference of, the memorial. Such a move would also open a large area in front of the Gazebo for entertainment and other activities. The new Christmas tree could be erected there for the holidays. How appropriate is that, with the tree directly opposite Santa’s lap and for other holiday activities? And the Pasquerilla Fountain can continue to glow throughout the Christmas season and year round.

Let the community know what you think in the comments below.

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