COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – As we start to push closer to the holiday season, the question for many communities becomes how to hold events, such as a Christmas parade. The City of Columbiana has come up with a way to do so while keeping everyone socially distanced.
Columbiana’s street fair was canceled this past September. It’s one of the biggest events for the city. The cancellation caused a bit of concern for the holiday season.
“We took a big hit. A lot of organizations that plan these fairs and festivals, that’s their meat and potatoes for the year,” said Erich Offenburg, with the Columbiana Chamber of Commerce.
So typically, when you think of a parade, you think of floats going by while everyone is standing on a sidewalk. Well, COVID-19 isn’t making that possible this year.
“Since we are not allowed to have parades, we brainstormed and did a lot of extra work to have our Christmas Spectacular, which is kind of like a reverse parade,” Offenburg said.
So, the southbound lane on Main Street is going to be open for traffic while the northbound lane is going to be closed for the floats.
“When you’re watching a parade, you see marching bands, you see business floats and organizations and things like that. You’re going to see exactly the same things here,” Offenburg said.
But in years past, the parade just doesn’t provide family fun, it allows for local businesses to be seen.
“They come in before the parade, they come in after the parade. So there’s always a lot of people in,” said Rhonda Pahanish, owner of Primitive Gatherings.
And even though people will stay in their cars, it’s still some advertising for the small businesses.
“Anything we can have to bring people to town is really good. It doesn’t have to bring them to town to shop but it lets them know what all is here,” Pahanish said.
The Columbiana Chamber of Commerce is still accepting registration for floats, just visit the Chamber’s website to sign up.
Christmas Spectacular starts at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the Sparkle Market.