While a number of fall festivals have been scrapped because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, city officials in Lula are looking beyond fall to the Christmas holidays, and they believe they can host the city's annual Christmas in the Park event in December.
"The phone has been ringing and we've had a lot of people calling [and] encouraging that we somehow figure out how to continue with the Christmas in the Park program," said City Manager Dennis Bergin during Monday night's online city council meeting.
Typically, the event features a Christmas parade and a festival, and Bergin said there will likely be some changes in order to maintain health protocols, but he said the committee thinks it can be done.
"Our plans are on Dec. 5 from about 4 to about 8 o'clock we'll have a parade and a festival," Bergin said. "We'll keep everybody in the loop and we're going to start promoting that. I know it's only September, but we need to put everybody on notice and see who can participate."
Bergin said moving forward with the festival would be a morale booster for the community, and councilman Matt Hamby agreed.
"It's going to look different we think, but we want to have a little bright spark in the community with the Christmas parade," Hamby said.
Longtime councilman Mordecai Wilson said he was all for a celebration, but he still wanted to make sure it was a safe event from a health perspective.
"I'm not against having this...but what I'm saying is we should surely suggest that everybody take measures to keep from spreading the virus. That's what I'm saying," Wilson said. "I think that's very important."
Councilman Marvin Moore agreed with Wilson, but noted that since the event will be held outside, there should be plenty of space for people to maintain proper social distance.
"I think a lot of people are going to be happy about [this]," said Mayor Jim Grier.
Committee members will be working on specific details of the event in the coming weeks.