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Monday, November 30, 2020

Christmas events modified due to covid-19

Dateline: [Oakland, MD, Nov-20]

Because of safety concerns, the Town of Oakland is modifying Christmas Events in downtown Oakland this year.  However, Town representatives refuse to allow the coronavirus pandemic to dampen the Christmas spirit celebrated through Oakland this December. Town officials and committees have put extra thought and preparation into creating safe, socially-distanced events that will allow people to experience the beauty and joy of the holiday season.

The Town has decided to forego the official tree lighting ceremony held at the B&O Train Museum and instead has teamed up with Garrett Regional Medical Center to make the tree at the B&O Museum more beautiful than ever. Oakland Mayor Jay Moyer noted, “The Town of Oakland is fortunate to have Garrett Regional Medical Center willing to graciously sponsor the purchase of over 2,000 new lights to adorn the tree so that its beauty can be enjoyed the entire holiday season.”

The annual Soup and Santa event has also been replaced by 3 separate and exciting “Drive Thru” events with Santa this year. Oakland representatives are looking forward to having Santa Claus visiting Oakland and hanging out at the Front Page Stage on Saturday December 5th, 12th, and 19th from noon-2pm. To ensure safety and social distancing, Oakland Police and Oakland Volunteers will be lining up vehicles in M&T bank’s drive thru parking lot for children to stay safely in their vehicles and “Drive Thru” to see Santa. Santa will be able to communicate with them from a distance using a PA system.  Treat bags will be available as the children tell Santa what they want for Christmas!  (Unfortunately, we will not allow children to exit their vehicles and sit on Santa’s lap.)

Saturday, December 5th will be the 42nd annual House of Hope Food/Bucks for Food Drive on 2nd St. from 9am to noon. The drive has been modified this year and will be accepting monetary donations as well as non-perishable food items. Because of the pandemic participants may drive to the donation site and one of the friendly helpers, safely wearing a mask will bring the “bucket of hope” to waiting vehicles to accept donations. As always, all donations will stay in Garrett County. To mail a donation please address it to “House of Hope, P.O. Box 24, Oakland, MD 21550.

To promote local patronage to Oakland Businesses we have introduced a new campaign called “Snap an Elfie”. From December 5th to the 19th, participating businesses will be given an Elf to display in their locations. When a customer makes a purchase at your establishment, they are encouraged to take an “Elfie” (selfie) with the elf and their receipt, purchase, shopping bag, etc, and then upload that Elfie to Facebook by checking into the business. By making a purchase and checking in on Facebook, they are then entered into a drawing for a prize to be chosen by that participating establishment.

Oakland will also be sponsoring “Letters to Santa” this year. Letters may be deposited in the mailbox located at the Gazebo off Second Street. They will be collected daily and sent to the North Pole.  Random letters will be drawn for reading aloud over WKHJ radio and Santa may even send a response!

Oakland officials wish everyone a Merry Christmas Holiday Season, and encourage local residents to shop local and support our local businesses. Oakland Mayor, Jay Moyer noted, “This year has been difficult on all of us, but especially for many of our small local businesses. Support the businesses that support our community!”

Any questions regarding these events can be directed to Nicole McCullough at Oakland City Hall, 301-334-2691 or at mainstreetgoba@gmail.com.

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