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With decorations on loan from Festival of Lights, downtown Sudbury is looking festive

A handful of downtown business owners have taken it upon themselves to tackle the issue of lighting

If you’ve been in downtown Sudbury before dawn or after dusk over the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed about 25 brightly-lit Christmas decorations  around the area.

The decorations are ones that have been on display in past years at the Festival of Lights at Science North, but were no longer needed.

About a month ago, a group of downtown business owners got together to discuss what they could do to remedy some of the well-publicized issues plaguing the area.

Three of the business owners — artist Monique Legault of Monique Legault Studio, Suzette Peters of Cedar Nest Décor Café and John Querney of Querney’s Office Plus — tackled the issue of increasing lighting in the downtown.

Legault said there’s a picture from the 1980s of downtown Sudbury at night lit up with Christmas decorations that’s often shared on social media this time of year, with people lamenting that the downtown no longer looks like this.

“We wanted to change that conversation, so that’s how it all started,” she said.

With Querney involved in putting on the Festival of Lights, a yearly fundraiser for the Sudbury Charities Foundation, the idea of putting up some of the extra decorations from that event around the downtown was floated.

The Festival of Lights actually had about 15 decorations in storage that were broken. Those have now been repaired thanks to Legault’s boyfriend, Neil Montgomery, who is a welder, and erected around the downtown.

“John (Querney) has donated them to the downtown,” said Legault. “They are now ours. We can put them up every year.”

The decorations, in the shapes of teddy bears, deer, fish and more, have been put up by Querney and Legault, along with Querney’s employees.

“The idea was to light up the streets to make it feel safer downtown and at the same time look festive,” said Legault.

The partners say they’ve received a lot of positive comments, including from those living on the streets.

“Every comment has been a positive comment,” Querney said. “Everybody says it’s so great to see them.”

If you happen to be at All Nations Church (414 St. Raphael St.) in the near future, there are also 14 leftover decorations from the Festival of Lights on display there, too.

“We’re just helping to lift the spirits for everybody, and getting everybody set for Christmas,” Querney said.