Welcome Home for the Holidays

Welcome Home for the Holidays

Image by monicore from Pixabay

BY: RACHEL WUMKES

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year.  There’s just something about the dim glow of the streetlights as I sip on a cup of hot chocolate.  The bite of the crisp air as Old Man Winter blows across the lake.  The sights and sounds of the Holiday season all around, encompassing me in a bubble that feels like being trapped inside a Hallmark movie.

Historically, the first weekend in December has been the annual Christmas by the Lake celebration.  This year, with the ever-changing atmosphere of guidelines set upon us by the CDC and our local Public Health officials, the event had to be adjusted to stay in compliance.

What does that mean?  Well, in a nutshell, it will be the same day of Jolly Holiday fun, but without the lighted Christmas parade or the fireworks over the lake.

Now, I know that can be frustrating when maybe you’ve had a long-standing tradition of attending the parade and watching the fireworks.  I get it.  My family goes to this every year, too.  It’s a bummer some things have to be different.

My life, however, will not be over because of this news.

And while it’s been said time and time again, the reason we cannot have the parade and fireworks is because of the way people are packed onto the sidewalks and at the seawall during those two events.  During the day, we can safely mill around Main Ave and the downtown area.  It’s easier to keep a distance – plus the added bonus of being outdoors – when you have the whole street for multiple blocks to utilize.

During the parade, that is not the case.

Remember that photo floating around last year?  This fabulous one taken by Chris Barragy?

This is the reason.  There’s just no way we can safely spread out during the parade or the fireworks.

With that, it’s time to move on and be thankful for the scheduled activities that we ARE able to safely hold.  This is what has been confirmed so far, with more to come as planning progresses.

  • Lights on 5K
    • For all you athletic folks out there, visit lightson5K.org to get signed up to get your run on.
  • Breakfast with Santa – DRIVE THRU
    • A little alteration to the normal event at One Vision, but you’ll still get a delicious pancake breakfast and can wave to Santa as you drive by!
  • One Vision Festival of Trees
    • Re-located to downtown this year! The trees will be in Main Ave windows for people to check out as they stroll by.
  • Holiday Craft Bazaar
    • At the Senior Center from 9am-4pm
  • Storytime in a bag – Grab & Go Activity
    • To avoid congestion in the Clear Lake Library, pick up your packet from 10am-2pm to take home and enjoy.
  • Clear Lake Arts Center 12 Days Holiday Market
    • Stop in the Arts Center to check this out from 10am-4pm
  • Simply Nourished Outdoor Christmas Market
    • Peruse the many vendors at N. 3rd and Main Ave and around City Park from 11am-3pm.
  • Hovick Family Farm Petting Zoo
    • Located at the Main Ave boat ramp from 11:30am-3:30pm.
  • Hot Chocolate
    • Provided free of charge by our friends at IFCA.
  • Christmas with the Rollaz
    • The Holy Rocka Rollaz will take the stage at the iconic Surf Ballroom for a limited seating concert. Doors open at 7PM.  Visit surfballroom.com for details.
  • SUNDAY – Everybody Plays Playground Plunge: Freezin’ for a Reason
    • Jump into the ice-cold water off of City Beach to help raise money for the inclusive playground being built next spring! More details to come!

As we continue to hear of other activities planned for the day, we will add to this list and share with the public.

Thank you to everyone who has been so patient and understanding.  Obviously, the Chamber isn’t responsible for the global pandemic, but we do have to deal with numerous repercussions because of it.  It’s just as frustrating (if not more) for us as it is for all of you.  We stand firm, however, in our mission to be a resource for our Chamber members, to promote area businesses and strive for economic success in our region.

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