It may look a little different, but it will be Christmas Tyme In Wellesley again this year. Typically a one-day event, the holiday celebration will be spread out over three days to meet the demands of a physically distancing world.
The changes allow the festivities to go on, even if modifications are required, says Jacqueline Gingrich, one of the event’s organizers.
“In the years past, we’ve had a whole day of events – a visit with Santa with preschoolers and Mrs. Claus; we’d have a story time with snacks, and then a live nativity scene. We have our traditional parade, carol singing – all things that you can’t do this year,” she said of the adaptations needed this year to ensure the festive tradition would continue.
Gingrich says the team looked at many options for how they would run this year’s event. Some suggested to take the influence of other communities that have been running reverse Santa Claus parades, having Santa ride by as people stayed at home, for instance.
“We thought that our community is very small, and that we didn’t want people sitting out in the cold – it can be sometimes quite cold, and you just never know the weather on that weekend. So we thought that maybe [we’d] get everyone involved in doing Christmas lights,” said Gingrich.
Thus Christmas Tyme in Wellesley’s parade of lights was born. This year there will be a map available on the event’s Facebook page that will feature residents and businesses in town that have decorated their properties in lights. Currently, there are 22 locations registered for the map. Businesses that generally enter a float into the nighttime parade can place it in front of their property for people to view.
There are also several awards to be given out for the event. A poll will run on the Facebook page the Sunday of the event and be online for 24 hours with the following categories up for grabs: best business display, best group display, best residential display, best traditional display, best animated/musical display, best colourful display and best kids’ creation.
“We’re going to do gift baskets or gift certificate to some kinds of local businesses, so trying to keep it all in the community,” said Gingrich.
With the kids’ creation contest, organizers asking kids to take pictures of what they did and then submit for consideration, she explained.
Gingrich encourages anyone interested in adding their property, business or group to the map to sign up and to keep up to date with the event through the online account,
“I would say the number-one thing is to go to our Christmas Tyme in Wellesley Facebook page: all the details are there, you can register there, your house or your business. Hopefully, people can have their stamp [on it] and make it a little fun.”