Neighbors put Christmas tree and Santa in street to call attention to pothole

The tree was decorated with ornaments and a star

Neighbors put Christmas tree and Santa in street to call attention to pothole
The pothole was taking too long to fix so the neighborhood decided to decorate it. (Source: WNEP/CNN)

WILKES-BARRE, PA (WNEP/CNN/RNN) – Someone came up with a seasonal solution to a pothole problem that was taking too long to fix.

Marietta Spak is the one who gets the credit for harnessing the neighborhood’s holiday spirit, but she had some accomplices too.

"I was upstairs in the attic and I was looking for more Christmas decorations and I came upon the tree,” she said. “I thought that would look nice in the hole."

That’s where the fake fir found its new home – smack dab in the middle of the street. It came complete with ornaments and a star.

It was her attempt to keep drivers from hitting the hole and to bring attention to what she thought was a safety issue.

"It can cause so many problems with these holes,” Spak said.

Gary Muchler has lived in the neighborhood for more than 60 years and his frustrations grew with the hole.

Eventually, a plastic Santa Claus fit in the hole along with the Christmas tree.

Then came the picture.

“We walked down here, she took a picture, next thing you know her phone was blowing up like crazy,” Muchler said.

Posted by Jim Hamill on Monday, December 10, 2018

Word also made its way to the Wilkes-Barre Department of Public Works.

"We have a lot of comedians in the area, that like to put trees in there,” said David Iskra with public works. “I think it's funny too, Christmas spirit."

For now, the pothole now has a metal plate over it, but it should be fixed soon.

A paving contractor that works for the city is expected to get things patched up soon.

Spak said she’s proud of the statement her neighborhood made.

"We took something ugly and we made it prettier. 'Tis the season, right?"

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