Although Solon’s annual holiday tree lighting was set to go on this year, city officials on Thursday (Nov. 12) canceled the event due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases locally and statewide.
Tracy Sullivan, director of community and cultural enrichment, told the Times that the decision was made early Thursday.
"We really wanted to give Solon one last celebration before we all hunkered down for the winter," Ms. Sullivan said. "But it is always better to be safe than sorry."
The reason for the change in plans, she said, "was due to the continued increase in the COVID-19 cases throughout Solon and the surrounding communities."
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine this week asked citizens to wear their masks and take other precautions as the state hit a record number of COVID-19 cases. He strongly cautioned against large gatherings where the virus has been known to spread.
Earlier this week, Solon had planned to go on with the tree lighting adding an outdoor market to the festivities on Nov. 25.
In the past, the city’s tradition for its annual tree lighting would be performances and a gathering at the Solon Center for the Arts, as well as pictures with Santa Claus.
“Our buildings are mostly closed and indoor events just aren’t happening,” Ms. Sullivan said earlier this week.
The market was originally slated to be held inside the Community Center in December, but due to Covid-19 was canceled.
Solon officials plan to have the trees in front of City Hall illuminated, but with no formal ceremony, Ms. Sullivan said. That way, residents can enjoy the holiday lights and other decorations around the city.