HASTINGS – The Hastings Downtown Center Association announced that Downtown Trick or Treat and the Celebration of Lights events have both been cancelled this year due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Tammy Orthmann, the Director of the Downtown Center Association, said that the reason these events are cancelled is because they are short events and people come in large numbers and these two events won’t allow for proper social distancing. And having candy exchange hands for trick or treating would be unsafe as well. Orthmann said they wished they could do the Celebration of Lights.
We look at every part of it, trying to decide if we could salvage parts of Celebration of Lights. And we decided that there probably is not going to be any stage entertainment, there’s not going to be choral groups up there singing. Having people standing in line for the rides and sharing the rides, we would have to clean them in between each one and that wouldn’t be feasible. Standing in line to see Santa, people stand shoulder to shoulder. So we looked at every single piece of it and we felt that it just wasn’t safe for everyone.
They still do have some events coming up this year, and the reason they are happening is because they are all day long and people don’t come all at once, like they would for Celebration of Lights or Downtown Trick or Treat.
One new event they are adding this year is Artist Walk and they will still do Shop Small Saturday. She reiterated that it’s still very important to support local businesses even though those two events have been cancelled.