St. Charles altering Holiday Homecoming plans

  • The St. Charles Business Alliance is altering this year's Holiday Homecoming to account for COVID-19 restrictions.

    The St. Charles Business Alliance is altering this year's Holiday Homecoming to account for COVID-19 restrictions. Courtesy of St. Charles Business Alliance

 
 
Updated 10/22/2020 5:22 PM

Get ready for socially distant Santa in St. Charles.

The St. Charles Business Alliance is still planning to hold its annual Holiday Homecoming at the end of November, but it'll look a little different due to COVID-19 restrictions. On the heels of a successful Scarecrow Stroll, though, organizers are confident families will find plenty to enjoy this holiday season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We were able to keep everyone safe and social distanced but still bring people to town, and for the most part our businesses had a great weekend," Jenna Sawicki, executive director of the St. Charles Business Alliance, said of the Scarecrow Stroll that took place Oct. 9 to 11. "That's music to our ears. With the success of that we wanted to do a similar model."

The Holiday Homecoming will feature a virtual "Lighting of the Lights Celebration" that will be broadcast on social media pages on Nov. 27. And instead of the traditional Electric Christmas Parade, there will be a Holiday Tree Trail.

Similar to the Scarecrow Stroll, where more than 50 scarecrows were displayed throughout downtown, local businesses, organizations and individuals will be able to purchase a tree and decorate it with their own theme.

Because the weather likely will be colder in late November and through December, the Holiday Tree Trail won't be spread out as much as the Scarecrow Stroll. The trees will be far enough apart for visitors to socially distance, but they'll be limited to the area around First Street and the riverwalk in downtown St. Charles.

Santa's House will return to the East Plaza starting on Nov. 28 and there will be a mailbox for children to drop off letters to Santa. Photos with Santa will be available even though he'll be distanced from visitors.

"After the Scarecrow Stroll it gives us confidence in realizing we can adapt any one of our events to still give people some sort of normalcy of celebrating, but also fit into the guidelines that are given to us and still hit our mission of bringing people down here and patronize and discover our businesses," Sawicki said. "By the end of the pandemic, whenever that may be, we will know how to pivot on all of our events."

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