(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) COVID-19 is putting a small damper on the 2020 Holiday Park Christmas lights.
You will not see a longtime tradition at the end of the drive this year.
The St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Department announced Wednesday that the East Hills Optimist Club will not be taking donations or handing out Cherry Mash as you exit Krug Park.
Santa Claus will still make appearances on Friday and Saturday evenings until Christmas Eve, but families will remain in their vehicles as Santa comes to them. A new feature this year will be the option to receive a letter back from Santa if the initial letter includes a name and return address.
The city is celebrating the 40th anniversary of winter wonderland at Holiday Park. Holiday Park dates back to 1981.
The city will still hold lighting ceremonies on Friday, Nov. 27 at 6:00 p.m. at Krug Park and at Hyde Park at 7:00 p.m.
However, there will be no cookies and cocoa this year to keep all participants safe. The Parks, Recreation and Civic Facilities Department does ask that those who cannot remain six feet apart while attending the ceremony to please wear a face mask for everyone's safety.
Both parks will be lit nightly beginning after November 27 from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. until the final night on January 3, 2021.