Organizers adapt Christmas events in time of COVID-19
Many volunteers from several community groups have been working behind the scenes to find a way to safely celebrate Christmas in the Valley.
The festivities traditionally take place the first weekend of December, and that won’t change but the events themselves will be very different, although potentially no less fun.
First off, The Tree Society of Creemore has been working out the logistics of an adaptation of the annual tree lighting ceremony, on Friday, Dec. 4, renamed the Christmas Tree Stroll.
“It’ll be a quieter event, and more controlled but it doesn’t mean that you can’t build your Christmas spirit by going through here and giving and receiving and starting to enjoy the idea of the Christmas season,” said organizer Mary Boyd.
This year, community members will be asked to pre-register for a walk through the park at Station on the Green to see the lighted tree. They will emerge with a keepsake ornament handmade by members of the Tree Society, coupons for free pizza at a local restaurant, and hot chocolate and hot apple cider from each of the local cafés.
Boyd said the layout of the park has been carefully crafted to keep people moving through so there is no congregating. Visitors will enter at the Library Street parking lot entrance and exit on Caroline Street. E-mail the Tree Society at email@example.com to book a visit.
There will be notable differences. CARA will not be serving hotdogs, there will be no choir, and there will be no flip of the switch to illuminate the tree, traditionally the honour goes to the winner of the crazy hat contest.
People are still encouraged to create a hat and wear it as they take in the festivities. Just post a photo of entries using the hashtag #creemoreloveschristmas.
The Tree Society is building on that by offering prizes in a crazy mask contest.
That same night, there is a challenge for all Creemore residents to decorate their homes and yards with lights and turn them on at exactly 6:30 p.m., to light up the night.
On Saturday, Dec. 5, there will be a reverse Santa Claus Parade, meaning that the community is invited to create stationary floats so that people can tour around by car or on foot to see them. This is a Clearview wide initiative, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Santa Claus will be making an appearance at Creemore Log Cabin during that time, for a drive-by or walk-by visit (there will be no sitting on Santa’s knee, or any contact). Children are welcome to drop off letters to Santa, or bring a Christmas card for nursing home residents.
Anyone who wants to participate in either the stationary parade or the Christmas lights display is encouraged to register by Nov. 24 in order to be included on a listing and wayfinding map that will be published in The Creemore Echo on Nov. 27 and Dec. 4. Register by contacting Natalie at 705-466-9906 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the morning of Dec. 5, there will be the first of weekly Saturday winter Creemore Farmers’ Markets. The market will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon. To meet safety protocols, only food producers will have booths, so there will not be any crafts.
Creemore BIA is kicking off the season with a shopping event on Nov. 21-22 when businesses will be revealing their festive window displays. The event is meant to build Christmas spirit and to encourage local shopping.