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Annual New Hope Christmas tree lighting at Logan Inn looking iffy

logan tree new hope free pressThe venerable New Hope holiday tradition of illuminating the large tree next to the Logan Inn on the Sunday following Thanksgiving is looking endangered these days.

Will that giant pine remain dark this Christmas?

Multiple sources have described persistent internal turmoil at the New Hope Chamber of Commerce, which typically plays a large role in the event. One visible sign of that turbulence may well be the recent resignation of Vice-President Jim Jolly.

Chamber officials speaking on condition of anonymity have said several members of the leadership cadre are “on the fence” about their continuing role there, and some potential event partners are questioning the chamber’s viability.

One result of the perceived paralysis in business leadership may be the inability of the chamber and Logan Inn to reach agreement on lighting the massive conifer on West Ferry Street — an occurrence, unfortunately, not without historic precedent.

Enter an unnamed, ad hoc group of concerned local business owners seeking to maintain the tradition of lighting the Logan tree. Having recently emerged from an open merchant forum held at Havana on Oct. 15, the group is seeking funding for a “Plan B” to not only host a holiday tree ceremony in conjunction with the Logan Inn, but also to schedule addtional holiday season attractions to lure shoppers to New Hope streets, should the chamber prove disinclined.

“Emergency meetings” at the chamber to address its current challenges are ongoing, say those close to the situation. Chamber President Roger Green was not immediately available for comment.



About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • Merchants complain that visitors don’t come here, but there are many factors discouraging tourism:

    1. Discontinuation of the fireworks program – even for a limited run (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day).
    2. “Trippers” – sidewalks that remain in disrepair. Discourages walking.
    3.Quality of stores / high rents charged by building owners (e.g. how many Tee shirt sales can pay for a tiny store with a $5,000/month rent?)
    4. The never-ending parking meter controversy. Why can’t Sunday hours start at 1PM like they do in Lambertville? Do cops really have to use flashlights to check on meters after dark? Do visitors really have to use flashlights to put money in the meters at night? The system is set up to “punish” visitors, not encourage them. Try looking at the smart meters on a rainy day. You can’t read them because condensation collects inside the window!

    New Hope is a fun place, but it could stand a MAJOR overhaul!

  • Right on, Lenny. Lambertville has quickly overtaken New Hope in recent years and it shows no signs of stopping. New Hope still has a lot of great people running great shops (Cockamamie’s, Mechanic St. Mugs, and many more), but unfortunately they’re increasingly side by side with wholesale cigarettes, vacant properties, and crumbling sidewalks.

    You can walk through Lambertville in the evening without worrying about tripping over the latest loose concrete and browse art galleries that stay open late, their Chamber wanted the fireworks to continue, and they’re increasingly having fun events to bring people into the area…meanwhile New Hope can’t even light a Christmas tree.

    It’s really sad, and the people I feel worst for are the good businesses and owners that continue to struggle against a town council and chamber of commerce that are trying their best to put the nail in the coffin.

  • Why should anyone be surprised. The NH Chamber of Commerce is the same gaggle of nitwits that killed the summer fireworks. Damaging New Hope’s commercial brand seems to be the only thing they’re really good at. (That and pilfering their own treasury for personal gain and party-throwing). You need no further proof than to take a walk past New Hope’s tattoo parlors, headshops, and empty storefronts and into Lambertville to see the contrasting effects smart vs moronic economic planning and investment.

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