LAYTON -- The "Happy Holidays" banners along Main Street are a new touch to the city's holiday decorations, but they are just a preview of things to come.
The banners, along with the spectacular display of lights at Layton Commons Park, help create a festive feeling and are part of a tradition that area residents anticipate every year.
"The decorations just bring the city together and develop that attitude of a stronger community," said Mayor Steve Curtis.
Park workers began setting up the lights on the first of September and worked until the Monday before Thanksgiving to make sure the park would be a popular destination again this holiday season.
They created a new entry archway and programmed the lights on a specific tree to flicker on and off in time with music from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
"It's one of the most rewarding and fun things that we do," said David Price, Layton Parks and Recreation director.
"Not only do we see the reward immediately on the faces of the little kids and families that come through, but the park workers that create these things have a great deal of pride in what they do."
The city has an annual budget of $10,000 for the holiday decorations -- $8,000 for the lighting and $2,000 for improvements to the animals, along with new components and lights.
However, Price said, this year the city spent less than the budget allowed.
The lights will come down Jan. 2, when more work for next year's display will begin. A third of the figures will be used again the following year, so workers will have to take off the old bulbs.
Price said they'll spend three months working on the figures.
This year, Layton also added the lighting of the community tree on Main Street as part of the celebration of opening the new Layton Parkway.
The tree is full of LED lights, and Price said the city is buying more LED lights each year.
Those LED lights, he said, have not only helped the city save money up front but will also help the annual decorating become less of a financial burden on the city because the lights will last longer.
"It is just an exciting time where the community bonds because of the feel in the air and just the ambiance that the lights convey, and it brings about a stronger community bond," Curtis said.
The poles that line Main Street and Layton Parkway are the older, historical style and came with an attachable vertical pole to hang banners on.
The poles are some of the first things people see in Layton because the parkway is the first opportunity for people to enter the city when headed north on Interstate 15.
"It's truly an entrance to the city," Curtis said. "It's become a gateway into the city."
In the future, banners that will be of value to residents will be displayed.
"We're now into a festive holiday season, so naturally, we're letting people know happy holidays," Curtis said. "But come next year when the Davis Arts Council has something going, we'll have banners up letting people know what's coming."
The parks and recreation division also puts up lights around Layton, most noticeably in front of the museum, police station and on the corner of Main Street and Hill Field Road.