2020-11-04

COVID impacts key community Christmas events

by GAYLE WILSON

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - well sort of.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on some of the area's traditional Christmas festivities.

The annual Christmas on the LaHave event will be looking very different this year, while the yearly Lunenburg Community Christmas Dinner has been cancelled all together.

The Christmas on the LaHave Committee has been meeting over recent weeks to develop a plan that will allow the residents of Bridgewater and Lunenburg County to usher in the holiday season with celebrations that are in keeping with safety parameters set out by the Province of Nova Scotia.

Due to gathering size limits, the traditional parade and fireworks in Downtown Bridgewater will not be taking place

"We have to walk the line right now, where we need to keep public safety in mind while still allowing the people of our community to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Christmas season," Michael Graves, the chairman of the Christmas on the LaHave Committee, stated in a news release issued by the Town of Bridgewater.

"Having upwards of 10,000 people in our downtown, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, simply isn't compatible with what we're facing in a pandemic that has touched all parts of the world," he said.

While the traditional parade and fireworks will be missing from this year's offerings, Graves noted that the committee has been working to develop a plan that will still foster a festive Christmas atmosphere throughout Bridgewater in November and December.

Residents and visitors will be able to enjoy pop-up musical performances in Downtown Bridgewater by the Bridgewater Fire Department Band, decorative wreaths and lighting on King Street and Old Bridge, the annual 4-H Community Forest, and light installations in Candy Cane Lane in Riverside Park.

Additionally, a large Christmas tree courtesy of Marcus and Thomas Zwicker will again be raised at the Pijinuiskaq Park look off. There will be festive home decorating and scavenger hunt contests with prizes, a Nativity scene and more.

The public will be able to find more information on this year's festivities in the coming weeks online at www.bridgewater.ca/christmas.

Meanwhile, Al MacIntyre, of the Lunenburg Community Christmas Dinner, advised LighthouseNOW that annual event has been cancelled for 2020.

The Lunenburg Community Christmas Dinner is run by a group of volunteers providing a traditional community Christmas meal for those who would otherwise be without such a connection during the holiday season.

MacIntyre thanked LighthouseNOW for its support of the event over the years.

"Hopefully next year, the virus will be behind us and we will be able to host the dinner once again," he said.

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