ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) – The festival of trees and trains holds a special place in the heart of the Ashland community. But due to the pandemic, this tradition might not make it through the holidays.
Inside the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Kentucky volunteers are setting up for the annual festival of trees and trains, which opens this weekend.
With the local health department’s approval, for now, the show will go on but with a few major changes. The festival’s lead chairperson Tamme Grubb says they have implemented several safety procedures.
Temperatures will be taken at the door. We will mark the floor and provide a single path that is 6-feet apart.Tamme Grubb, Festival of Trees and Trains lead chairperson
The seasonal event will still feature many trees decorated by the local community. However, a few other attractions will not be a part of the festival this year.
In the past, along with the trees, the festival included a large-scale train display and live music performances. To avoid large gatherings inside the building these features have been removed.
Several individual groups and businesses enter a tree in the event each year. For the City National Bank in Ashland, this is only their second year participating. Even with the new guidelines brought on by the pandemic, they say they’re glad the festival was able to stay alive.
It’s nice to keep some traditions alive… I was happy to hear that the Paramount was able to put this on.Stephanie Martin, City National Bank branch manager
Guests will still be able to bid on their favorite tree. Instead of using a written bid process, Grubb says they are moving to a virtual platform.
Visitors interested in bidding can use their cell phones to scan a QR code and place their bid online.
All guests will be expected to wear face masks and social distance inside the building. Grubb says there is still the threat of going completely virtual due to the pandemic.
The Paramount will also offer a pre-recorded walk through online on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday. For more information, click here.