Harrison’s annual Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony are canceled for 2020. The announcement was made by Mayor Bill Neyer at the City Council meeting Nov. 17, 2020 after careful consideration.
“This decision was not made lightly,” Neyer said. “Even before the state amended its order related to mass gatherings, we discussed whether having these events would be in the best interest of our citizens. While we are very disappointed, we encourage the people of Harrison to be good neighbors, protect each other and lift each other’s spirits during this holiday season.”
Mayor Neyer plans to record the tree lighting at an unannounced time (to prevent a crowd from gathering) and share it on the City’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. As usual, the tree will remain lit nightly throughout the holiday season, and families are still permitted to gather at the tree in small groups for photographs.
Also, to bolster holiday spirit in Harrison, the City is asking residents to share snapshots from their homes or other places around town that capture the spirit of the season. The photographs may depict Thanksgiving, Christmas or other holiday decor, as well as fall and winter scenes. Images shared with the City may be used on social media or in the Community Connect newsletter. Each participant will be entered into a drawing for a gift bag containing gift cards and merchandise from around the City.
Photos can be shared on the City's Facebook page, or by posting a public photo and using the tag #myHarrisonOH in the caption. Residents may also contribute photos via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents must provide their name and address via private message or email by Jan. 8, 2021 to be entered in the drawing.
Mayor Neyer also reminded residents that toys are being collected in special boxes at businesses around town as part of the Mayor’s Fund effort to help families in need this Christmas. New, unwrapped toys in the $10 price range are being collected for children 12 and under, through Dec. 15. Donation boxes for toys are located at The Coffee Peddlar downtown and at Community Commons on Carolina Trace, 1860 Taproom & Bottleshop, Harrison Home Bakery, Lydia Jane, Ladyhawk Events, Robin Brandenburg Dance, and the Harrison Community Center (300 George Street).
The Ohio Department of Health issued a revised health order Nov. 17 that prohibits socializing or activities in open congregate areas. The order was issued with the intent of minimizing the spread of COVID-19 through airborne particles. State health orders and guidance for holiday celebrations are available online.