PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio — Taking a cue from this past Easter celebration when the city successfully pivoted from its annual Easter Egg Hunt to the Easter Bunny driving around the community, Parma Heights is once again having to adjust another holiday celebration due to the pandemic.

While the traditional tree lighting event has been canceled, the gazebo will be decorated for the holidays with Santa — albeit socially distanced — making an appearance for the kids.

“We have something planned to continue the Christmas cheer and spirit,” Parma Heights Mayor Michael P. Byrne said. “Not only did we have to cancel the tree lighting, but we also had to do away with different choirs — from Valley Forge High School and Holy Name High School — performing while the kids meet Santa Claus.

“What we’re doing now is working with Parma Heights Historical Society to provide families and children with the opportunity to drive through the commons to the Tollhouse, which will be decorated. Santa and an elf will be there with a mailbox to encourage the children to drop off a letter for the North Pole.”

The Christmas event is scheduled to take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 12 in the Greenbrier Commons.

“That Easter experience was phenomenal,” Parma Heights Historical Society President Jim Griffith said. “So kind of like at Easter, we’re feeling bad the kids aren’t getting anything normal this year. That’s why we’re trying to put some normalcy into Christmas. It’s a quick event, but I think it’s a meaningful event.”

For the kids, the most important part of the upcoming yuletide affair is naturally a visit by Santa, who normally arrives at the tree lighting event via a police escort.

“While they won’t get out of the car, because it’s just a drive-thru, the kids can drop off a letter letting the big guy know what they want for Christmas,” Byrne said.

The hope is the annual holiday tree lighting event will naturally return in 2021.

“Oh, I’m sure life will eventually get back to normal,” Griffith said.

Read more news from the Parma Sun Post here.

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