Saturday, December 4, 2010
A "Light" at the End of the Tunnel
Finally, the streets of downtown Hartford were hustling and bustling in anticipation of the city’s annual Festival of Light celebration. With a new venue – the beautiful, under-appreciated and under-used Bushnell Park – a new mayor, a local celebrity (Hello Irene O’Conner!), and an appearance by the Big Guy, there’s no doubt THIS was the Rising Star’s chance to shine.
As the countdown reached its final seconds, you could hear the little kiddies yelling and screaming. Three…two…one. Unfortunately, the Ooooos and ahhhhhs were traded in this year for the sounds of
groaning and comments such as “That’s it?!” or “I thought there would be more.”
The promise of a lit park, gave way to a lit Christmas tree and a few lit stumps along the park’s entrance. Sure, there were spotlights shining snowflakes along adjacent buildings, but it took a few minutes to realize it was part of the display. At first glance those who traveled from their cozy suburban homes may have thought it was the city’s attempt to page someone to come protect and/or save Hartford. But hey, at least we can give thanks knowing the person in apartment 3D didn’t have their shades up. Christmas could have been ruined for everyone!
Alas, perhaps the expectations were too high. Or maybe Santa decided the city deserved coal for
electing the last mayor in the first place. Either way, in true Charlie Brown fashion, a well intended
event fell just a bit short.
Homer Simpson once said that “trying is the first step towards failure.” We say, at least the city tried. And with a skating rink coming to the park soon, Hartford has another chance at redemption.