IBEW & DTP Partner to Create a Downtown Winter Wonderland
December 6, 2013
Glittering lights will create a winter wonderland across Downtown Tucson, greeting shoppers looking to find unique gifts from the more than 50 locally owned Downtown retail shops. Bright light displays and festive windows bring a sense of seasonal magic to a shopping, dining, and nightlife experience unlike anything else in Tucson.
The Downtown Tucson Partnership has partnered with IBEW Local 570, a member of the Arizona AFL-CIO, to install 55 lighted holiday decorations, enhancing the festive feel of a Downtown in the midst of a stunning revitalization. In addition to the lights, storefronts are decorated with holiday displays, welcoming all customers who are seeking a fun, local way to complete their holiday shopping.
IBEW Local 570 Business Manager Mike Verbout is proud to rally union members for this effort Downtown. “The excitement and energy in Downtown Tucson is something we support and this is a natural project for our members,” said Verbout. IBEW Local 570 is one of the oldest locals in the country and was formed in 1907 – about 16 years after the IBEW National Union was created in St. Louis in 1891, and five years before Arizona became a state.
This is the second year that members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 570 are volunteering their time with the Downtown Tucson Partnership, putting their years of skill and training to work while spreading the holiday spirit of giving and service.
In 2012, union members installed the decorations under supervision of Downtown Tucson Partnership Maintenance Manager Russ Stone, but this year they’re taking it to a whole new level. Harsh elements rendered many of the lights displayed in Downtown unusable, and tightening budgets prevented the restoration of the decorations. IBEW will now painstakingly bring these lights back to life, thanks in part to a generous contribution from Southern Arizona – National Electrical Contractors Association (SAZ NECA), a partner organization to the IBEW.
“This is a wonderful kick-off for this holiday season,” said Michael Keith, Downtown Tucson Partnership CEO. “Downtown Tucson is thriving because of support from the entire community. We’re honored by IBEW Local 570’s donation of time and equipment.” Keith added, “We thank them for helping make Downtown Tucson a shopping and entertainment destination again.”
Between 13 and 16 IBEW volunteers with three lifts will start hanging the heavy holiday lights along Downtown streets on Dec. 8. Volunteers include apprentice electricians, journeymen, construction electricians and union staff. United Rentals donated the use of the lifts for the project.
The Downtown Tucson Partnership is a non-profit, 501(c)(6) corporation committed to making Downtown Tucson the most dynamic urban center in the Southwest.