Festive holiday lights line the windows of over 40 storefronts on Mission Street in the Excelsior this season thanks to the efforts of a community organization and its trusty volunteers. This year, the Excelsior Action Group, an economic and community development organization serving the commercial corridor of Mission Street in San Francisco’s Excelsior District, spent the funding and the volunteer hours to decorate business windows one at a time.
“I kept hearing Excelsior residents expressing their desire to see the corridor decorated for the holidays,” explained EAG Corridor Manager, Nicole Agbayani. “Then, EAG was able to repurpose a small amount of funding from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and we said, let’s make it happen!”
Funding from the City was supplemented by the generosity of local stores, including discounted extension cords from the Excelsior’s Walgreens on Mission Street and half price window suction hooks for hanging the lights from J&J Hardware on Geneva Avenue. Also instrumental in making this project a reality was the assistance of about a dozen dedicated community volunteers from EAG’s Beautification Committee, the Excelsior District Improvement Association, the New Mission Terrace Improvement Association, and Senator Leland Yee’s office.
“We are getting this neighborhood back to the way it used to be,” said volunteer and long-time Excelsior resident Tod Spediacci, “If you could’ve seen the way they used to decorate it years ago, you wouldn’t believe it!”
EAG and its volunteers distributed LED holiday lighting to businesses and hung the lights in storefronts free of charge. In January, they will collect the lights and store them for another decorating project next year. Business owners have been responding with gratitude and excitement at this festive service. “Next year, I would like to see you put them on the trees,” said Luz Maria of San Vicente’s Restaurant, “But I still think this is a really good idea!”