Citing the “sudden and dramatic” increase in COVID-19 cases, Crawfordsville Main Street has canceled all outdoor activities for Downtown Party Night and Small Business Saturday Nov. 28.
The tree lighting ceremony, as well as hayrides, fire pits and outdoor music, will not be part of the event this year, Main Street announced Tuesday.
But several downtown merchants are still planning to hold indoor activities throughout the day to kick off the holiday shopping season, Main Street program manager Sue Lucas.
“I’ve talked to several [Wednesday] morning, and they’re still going. They understood that Party Night was still happening,” Lucas said.
Before the surge of cases, the Thanksgiving weekend tradition was set to continue on a limited scale.
Main Street worked with community partners and downtown merchants to modify plans and create new, smaller events throughout the season in place of a larger, one-day gathering.
But as the spread of the virus accelerated and the state placed new restrictions on crowd sizes, the organization decided to cancel the outdoor festivities in case the size limits tightened even further.
“I know it sounds counter to what we’ve been hearing from health officials: stay away from the outdoor stuff, but you can do the indoor stuff,” Lucas said.
“Unfortunately, the outdoor staff was creating attraction for people to cluster close to one another… we couldn’t find a way that we could keep people properly distanced.”
Other local outdoor holiday activities have also been canceled due to the pandemic. Main Street called off the First Friday event featuring horse and carriage rides that was scheduled for Dec. 4.
The Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce’s Carols and Cocoa event at Pike Place Dec. 12 was also canceled. The chamber had already canceled the annual Christmas parade.
Families can still participate in the Downtown Holiday Window Contest. Businesses can sign up at www.crawfordsvillechamber.com/holidaywindow.html.
Main Street is also sponsoring a food drive for FISH that kicks off on Party Night. A list of participating collection sites will be publicized before the event. The drive runs through Dec. 5.