Solon’s annual holiday tree lighting will go on this year, but with some modifications and exciting additions, Tracy Sullivan, director of community and cultural enrichment, said last week.
In what will be the last event of a tumultuous 2020, the city will add to its annual holiday lighting tradition a hometown holiday market, held outdoors.
The event is slated for 4-8 p.m. Nov. 25, the night before Thanksgiving.
The market will be held in the parking lot of the Solon Historical Society and feature a variety of artisan vendors showcasing holiday home decor, gifts and more. In the parking lot will also be inflatables and “walk-around characters,” Ms. Sullivan said.
At 7 p.m. Mayor Edward H. Kraus will preside over the tree lighting at the front of City Hall. There will also be food trucks.
“The lighting will happen,” Ms. Sullivan said, but the other events will be more weather dependent.
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.
The event typically drew hundreds, Ms. Sullivan said.
“Our buildings are mostly closed and indoor events just aren’t happening,” she said. “Numbers are restricted so we had to shift and move everything outside.”
In doing so, they also changed the entertainment from the Solon High School and senior center singing groups to the holiday market. The market was originally slated to be held inside the Community Center in December, but due to Covid-19 was canceled.
The lighting will take place by the front doors of City Hall near the Christmas tree. The Solon Center for the Arts dance ensemble is slated to present an outdoor performance at 6:15 p.m. and discussions are ongoing about the possibility of an ice carver and carolers, Ms. Sullivan said.
“It’s all good-ole winter fun,” she said.
The event will follow all the guidelines of the state and local health officials, including the use of masks and social distancing. Those individuals not feeling well are asked to stay home.
“We will do everything we can to keep the community safe at this event,” Ms. Sullivan said.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, she added, “we felt it was important to kick off the holidays, and celebrate it while we could.
“We knew this would probably be our last event for the year until the weather gets better and we wanted to provide one more last hurrah before everyone hunkers down for winter,” she added. “This is the one last chance to bring the community together.”