PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK) – It was killed by the pandemic and now, in Portsmouth, Ohio a holiday staple is back.
The Winterfest 2020 celebration is technically still canceled, but the Market Street area will still display the same holiday spirit as years past. The question on people’s minds is “What will be available this year?”
The “Friends of Portsmouth” group assistant director Bryan Smith says the traditional event couldn’t be held under current CDC safety guidelines. However, they were able to revive some parts of the festival.
People love it. We’ve been decorating for a couple of days, so even when they’ve seen a little bit of lights go up, it does mean a lot.Bryan Smith, Friends of Portsmouth group assistant director
Smith says along with the lights, they will have their outdoor Christmas props and the seasonal Christmas store will be open temporarily.
Still, some things just couldn’t be saved like the ice rink, the vendors, and the tube slide. Volunteer Robert Swaro says they are trying to capture the holiday spirit, even during these tough times.
It is a shame that everything got canceled this year, but like I said, we’re still just trying to bring some of the holiday spirit out here and get stuff decorated.Robert Swaro, Volunteer
Several local shops near Market Street will also be open for a unique holiday shopping experience as well as carryout options with local restaurants.
In only it’s second year of operation the city received national recognition, being named Hallmark’s “Hometown Christmas Town” in 2019 and also setting a world record for the most people caroling simultaneously.
This holiday decorations are estimated to be completed by Monday and the Christmas store will be open the following Saturday.
Smith says in regards to the pandemic, they will “move through it… and move into 2021.” For more information on this year’s Winterfest celebration, click here.