Community Christmas celebrations everywhere are taking a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many Grabill Christmas events have fallen victim to the pandemic, but with two exceptions.
According to Grabill Chamber of Commerce Secretary Susie Witt, most of the events were canceled due to local board of health requirements. Starting Monday, the requirements only allowed a crowd of 25 people at any event for counties in Red status.
“It would be pretty impossible to have an event with only 25 people,” Witt said. “We want everybody to be safe.”
Events that are still occurring include the residential lighting contest and the raffle drawings local business will be having. Winners need not be present to win.
For the residential lighting contest, first-, second- and third-prize winners will receive gift baskets filled with items from local merchants. To register, contact Witt by Dec. 1 by phone, at 260-705-4626.
The events should go as planned next year.
The Coming Home for Christmas gathering at Leo-Cedarville has been canceled. The event is sponsored by the Leo-Cedarville Foundation.
Though the Leo-Cedarville Park Board won’t hold a gathering to celebrate Christmas, the board does plan to light up a tree at Riverside Gardens. The public will be free to wander past in their cars and admire the tree.
Terry Jo Lightfoot, a Park Board member, said, “We lit the tree for the first time last year and it was so fun. But there was just no way we could have a ceremony safely this year.”
New Haven’s Holiday Homecoming Festival that had been scheduled for Friday, Nov. 27, has been canceled.
The Parade of Lights that would have brought Santa by firetruck to Schnelker Park is gone, along with the ice skating rink that would have been at Main and Broadway.
In spite of that development, Toys for Tots will be accepted in the New Haven City Hall lobby. Any new toys that are not wrapped can be deposited there through Monday, Dec. 7.
Woodburn will have a Christmas parade after all, but without some of the extra festivities.
The Woodburn Lighted Parade will step off at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, from behind City Hall. “If anybody wants to be in the parade all they have to do is line up behind City Hall between 5 and 5:30,” said Jan Palmer, deputy clerk.
Due to COVID-19 risks, the customary cookies and refreshments will not follow the 2020 parade.
Though Santa will not have a chance to visit with children, the little ones still see Santa in the parade and make their wishes known. “I’ve asked kids to drop off letters here at City Hall for Santa and he will pick them up after the parade,” Palmer said.
Christmas fun continues into December with the Woodburn decorating contest. Homes and businesses are invited to dress up for Christmas, and people from Woodburn and surrounding communities are welcome to tour the city and take in the sights. Judging will be on Friday, Dec. 18.
IN|Fort Wayne editor Garth Snow contributed to this report.