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Christmas Market, tree lighting, Santa's Workshop cancelled for 2020

Drew Butler
dbutler@gannett.com
This file photo shows a portion of the crowd after a previous Christmas tree lighting ceremony. This year's tree lighting event has been canceled due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

he City of Ardmore announced on Tuesday that the Christmas Market and Tree lighting ceremony at Central Park will be canceled this year due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus. They will also not be holding the annual Santa’s Workshop event that was scheduled for December 4 and 5 at the Festival of Lights.

Ardmore Parks and Recreation Teresa Ervin said it was a difficult decision to make, and they are sad that the events will not be taking place.

“As always we’ve been evaluating as we go and looking at the information from the Health Department and the CDC so that we can make the best and safest decision possible,” Ervin said. “We’re all disappointed, and our staff has worked really hard getting everything ready to go, but we have to protect our community.”

She said the tree lighting and Santa’s Workshop in particular draw especially large crowds.

“These events are just so well attended,” Ervin said. “We know that there are thousands of people that come to the tree lighting and Santa’s Workshop, so we just did not feel like it was the right thing to do right now with so many cases of COVID and our area hospitals getting increasingly crowded.”

Mayor Doug Pfau said he supported the decision to cancel the events.

“These are really fun things that the Parks and Recreation has created, and we love having them,” Pfau said. “But with everything going on with the virus and the number of cases continuing to rise, it just didn’t seem like a good idea to have them.”

Ervin pointed out that not everything Christmas related has been canceled. The Festival of Lights is still running through December 30 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Santa’s mailbox is still set up at Central Park through December 18. Children can send their letters to Santa along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and they will get a letter back from Santa Claus himself. Central Park and the large Christmas tree will also still be lit up.

“What will be happening is Central Park will be lit up and the tree will be turned on December 1,” Ervin said. “We encourage everyone to drive through the park and the kids to send their letters to Santa. This is the season of joy, and we still want it to feel like Christmas. We just can’t have large public events at this time.”