Organizers of two popular local holiday events have decided to cancel them this year due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Neither Come Home to Galion nor Crestline Winterfest will be staged as planned. Come Home to Galion officials announced their decision via the group’s Facebook page on Nov. 2.

“The Come Home to Galion committee is sad to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Come Home to Galion celebration,” the post on the group’s Facebook page read. “After numerous conversations with local health officials, we determined that we were unable to safely hold this event. We hope to see you next year on December 4, 2021.”

Mayor Tom O’Leary said during his Facebook Live session on Monday evening that the community Christmas tree will be placed on the square as usual.

Clayton Herold of the Crestline Community Development Team (CCDT) said Thursday that the decision was made following Gov. Mike DeWine’s statewide address about the pandemic on Wednesday afternoon.

DeWine announced that a revised statewide face mask order is being instituted that includes tougher provisions for retail businesses to follow.

Herold said the governor’s focus on the significant spread of the virus in rural communities, tougher face mask requirements, and reiteration of the existing order banning gatherings of 10 or more people prompted greater concern for organizers.

“It just made a whole lot of sense that we cancel it at this time,” he said.

Herold said Winterfest officials are hopeful that they can still organize a parade featuring Santa Claus. He said a final decision about that would be made when CCDT meets on Nov. 18. Herold noted that businesses and organizations that have already registered to be in the parade will be welcome.

“We are going to discuss maybe having a car parade around town with Santa being at the back of the parade,” he said. “The parade would just go down some main streets in Crestline and would allow kids to stand in their yards and watch Santa go by. If folks don’t live on the main areas, they could certainly park their cars and see Santa from the cars.”

The lighting of the Central Park Gazebo has also been canceled, but the gazebo will still be decorated for the holidays, Herold said.

For information about revised holiday activities in Crestline, go to the Crestline Community Development Team Facebook page.

By Andrew Carter

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