Chardon City Council last week had its sights set on Dec. 3 for the annual holiday lighting ceremony on the square but made the reluctant decision not to authorize the event this year.

During the Nov. 11 council meeting, council members discussed details for the annual holiday event with Joseph Zulandt and Stephanie Talty representing the Chardon Square Association and expressed concerns about the recent surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Ohio and Gov. Mike DeWine’s reissue of the statewide mask order.

“I really wanted to see this happen, but it has been a horrible year,” said City Manager Randy Sharpe. “I was sending emails to all of council earlier this week so that council would have all the information to make a decision.”

All council members agreed to take the issue off the table and no vote was taken.

Plans are for the Chardon Square Association to move forward with decorating the square and turning on the lights prior to the original date, but out of concern for the public no formal notification will be made to the public.

In other business, council members authorized Mr. Sharpe and Law Director Benjamin Chojnacki to enter into an agreement with Thrive, Inc. for programming and management of the Geauga Theater and building 106.

In April, the historical theater was vacated by the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild after it was forced to shut down due to financial issues.

After an extensive search on how best to utilize the space, the City Council ad hoc theater committee selected Thrive Performing and Visual Arts of Streetsboro which has a great mix of programs to best utilize the space and will be making Chardon their new home base, city officials said.

The next Chardon City Council meeting is Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

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