WINCHESTER — COVID-19 has kiboshed the city’s annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in Old Town.
Due to the pandemic, officials announced on Tuesday that the 2020 Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony will not be held. In its place will be “Lights in the Park,” a seasonal light show in Jim Barnett Park that people can experience from the safety of their vehicles.
“We are saddened by the fact that the parade, a popular tradition in our community, had to be canceled, but our holiday cheer is alive and well,” City Manager Dan Hoffman said in a media release. “We are excited to offer a new and safe holiday activity which we hope residents and visitors will find enjoyable during these uncertain and extraordinary times.”
The lights — similar to the annual “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” holiday light show staged each year in Clearbrook Park by the Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department — will be installed along the road that winds through Jim Barnett Park from its amphitheater on Oak Drive to the War Memorial Building on War Memorial Drive.
“Lights in the Park” will be offered at no charge every day between 5 and 8:30 p.m. from Nov. 23 through Dec. 20. The display will feature festive light designs, characters and holiday decorations in a family-friendly presentation.
As for this Saturday’s celebration of Halloween, Winchester has no plans to intervene, but officials encourage kids to be safe and remain socially distanced to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
For more information, visit winchesterva.gov.