Village Merchants make changes to banner program: Holiday-themed signs included this year

When it comes to the holidays, La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) will step up the town’s décor so the spirit of the season is everywhere.

Adding to the red ribbon and garland decorations posted along Village lamp posts in December, the banner program will include holiday-themed banderoles for the first time. The addition of holiday banners is one of several changes to the LJVMA banner program.

At its Oct. 12 meeting, boardmember James Niebling offered a preview of the seasonal designs, and said formal renderings would be provided soon.

“We have the ‘everyday banners’ that are up as we speak wherever there is an available pole,” he said (these feature LJVMA slogans such as “low tide to high style” and “coffee bar to caviar” with beach-related images). “But for the holidays, we’ve been working with a graphic design company to create some holiday spirit branding.”

The five renderings feature images of ribbons, gift boxes and other seasonal decorations, though Niebling said “there would still be some tweaks” to the designs. “We really wanted to get a seasonal message out there with pops of color. We would also like to have some banners with ribbons on them that tie them specifically to the (red ribbon) holiday decorations that go up every year. We’re really excited about this,” he said.

The holiday banners would hang during the months of November and December, and may be “sponsored” for a yet-to-be-determined cost. Sponsored banners would feature the donor’s name at the bottom. In addition to the holiday banners, the board announced that everyday banners may now be sponsored.

Taking over for the Sparkle & Shine banner concept — through which businesses could sponsor a banner and have their message of choice (name, sports team, school, etc.) listed with proceeds funding Village beautification — businesses may now sponsor an everyday banner and fund clean-up efforts in the Village. Previously, only those banners affiliated with the Sparkle & Shine program could be sponsored.

Although the sponsor cost for an everyday banner has not been announced, Niebling told La Jolla Light there would likely be a price break for those who sponsor multiple banners or banners over multiple months. With the Sparkle & Shine campaign, an eight-foot-tall banner costs $400 a month.

The banner program has been around for more than 10 years, or as LJVMA executive director Sheila Fortune put it, “since the Promote La Jolla days,” but the changes come as a way to generate more funds for Village beautification.

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In other LJVMA news:

Calling all zombies: Pillage the Village, the merchants’ annual trick-or-treating event, will be 3-6 on Monday, Oct. 31 throughout the Village. This year, a pumpkin-carving contest has been added for businesses. Participating Girard Avenue businesses (marked by window posters and balloons) will give out candy to those in costume.

“Also, we invite all merchants to carve a pumpkin and bring it over to La Plaza La Jolla by 3 p.m., where we will set up tables and hold a contest,” Fortune said. “La Plaza is also going to have a photo booth, snacks and entertainment. We’re calling all zombies to come to La Plaza.”

This year’s zombie crawl will be a “tee off” to next year’s more elaborate event. “Next year, we are really going to play up the ‘calling all zombies’ theme. We want all merchants to close up their shops and walk through the streets like zombies.”

The votes are in: 10 candidates have been elected to next year’s board and will be sworn in at the next meeting. They are: Laurnie Durisoe, Pantai Inn; Krista Baroudi, The World Around You; Xochitl Cerda, The LOT movie theater; Carla Parra, La Jolla’s Little Vitamin Shop; Lori Bolton, 18/8 men’s salon; Alisha Frank, Fiercely Optimistic; James Niebling, Esteban Interiors; Jamie Dickerson, J Dixx Photography; Billy Borja, OrangeTheory fitness; and Tiffany Phillips, Harcourt real estate.

The votes were mailed in and certified at the Oct. 12 meeting. Immediately after the new board members are sworn in next month, the executive board (president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer) will be elected.

LJVMA meets 3 p.m. second Wednesdays at La Jolla Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.