The holidays are here! This year, I know many of us are struggling with the dilemma of keeping our loved ones protected from COVID-19 while still enjoying our most treasured of seasons. How do we safeguard everyone’s health but still honor our beloved traditions? Listed below are some of the events occurring in our hometown that may safely boost our holiday spirit for 2020.
On Thanksgiving evening, Thursday, November 26, the Hotel Bothwell will be hosting their annual Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks Show. While this event was postponed to another evening once due to inclement weather, this kick-off to Sedalia’s holidays has never been cancelled! As a way to keep this tradition going while protecting the health of our community, KDRO Hometown Country has offered to simulcast the night's events and fireworks show music on its two stations, 1490 AM and 101.3 FM, and feature DJ Charlie Thomas as the evening's host. Participants will be able to listen live to these stations and watch the fireworks show from their vehicles to encourage social distancing. For those who prefer to view the event from the comforts on their own home, it will be live-streamed from Hotel Bothwell's Facebook page.
Thanksgiving officially heralds the start of holiday shopping and while many online stores may tempt you with special offers, I sincerely hope you will include locally sourced items on your gift-giving list during events including Black Friday on November 27th and Small Business Saturday on November 28th. We are fortunate to have many wonderful businesses that, like you, call Sedalia “home”. Maybe it’s the cheerfully decorated brick-and-mortar shop whose owners hopefully listen for the footsteps at their door or perhaps a home-based business ran by a friend of a friend who consistently donates their products or time to your school fundraisers. When you use your purchasing power to “shop local”, you help another family you may very well know experience a joyful holiday. Please feel free to contact these businesses even ahead of time as I know many are prepared to help you while still following precautionary guidelines.
There are two City programs I’m happy to see continue this year. The first is the City’s annual Outdoor Christmas Light Contest. This 40 year old contest only requires the cost of your time; first in putting up your Christmas lights and secondly, in submitting your application to my office. You can provide a wonderful experience for area friends and families who enjoy bundling up and driving around to view the area Christmas lights. Be sure to include the Sedalia Parks & Rec’s Light Up Liberty Drive Thru on your evening route. This tradition had fallen to the wayside for many years, but thanks to the leadership of Parks Director Amy Epple, the Parks & Rec Board and Staff, Liberty Park has once again become a holiday show piece for both residents and visitors to enjoy. I’d also encourage you to make a trip downtown to see the many added lights on our downtown businesses.
Sedalia’s holiday season may be different in 2020 due to the pandemic, but we may still enjoy some of the time-honored traditions thanks to our community’s patience, caring and ingenuity. May you have the brightest (and safest) holiday season ever.