Easton's Peace Candle is a longtime holiday tradition, but there have been years where it didn't go up.
One of those years was 1961. Instead of the candle, the city just hung decorations from the bugler at the top of the monument in Centre Square.
"It was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen," said Mayor Sal Panto.
The city might have been able to get away with not putting up the candle 50 years ago. But these days?
"You'd be hung from the bugler, and it wouldn't be nice," Panto said at a news conference Tuesday at city hall.
In order to keep 2012 from being another candle-less year, the city's holiday committee is launching a fundraiser to upgrade the giant holiday decoration.
"We need a new candle," Panto told reporters. "We thought this one would last to 2014," but it doesn't meet safety standards.
Panto said the city can upgrade the candle -- keeping its basic skeleton while replacing the skin and "flame" on top -- for $25,000.
He said the city will take on the responsibility of putting up and taking down the candle.
"But if the residents want the candle, they have to contribute," he said.
Panto will lead a corporate fundraising effort, reaching out to local companies and service organizations.
The Easton Holiday Committee will run a series of community-based fundraisers as well, said Sandra O'Brien-Werner, who heads the committee:
- "Blaze the Trail," a walk along the Karl Stirner Arts Trail on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 or three for $25, and ticket-holders are eligible to win an iPad 2.
- A costumed dance at Third Street Alliance on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- The annual "Light a Night" fundraiser: donate $30 in honor of a loved one and help keep the candle lit.
Panto said the city will also resume selling "shares" in the Peace Candle, a practice that began years ago to fund the current version of the candle.
This will be the fourth incarnation of the Peace Candle, although Panto said it will look pretty much like the one that came before it.
One key difference: The new candle will lose the blue "wax drippings" that were part of the third candle, Panto said.
"Off-white candles have off-white wax," he said.
A website for the fundraiser -- www.eastonpeacecandle.org -- should be live by the end of the week, O'Brien-Werner said.