LOOGOOTEE — Christmas events will be coming to Loogootee this year but they will have some adjustments. The city’s Festival and Special Events committee has agreed to go ahead with the parade, stroll and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies slated for Dec. 6 between 4 and 8 p.m., but with some adjustments.
“We have about 20 members to the committee,” said Loogootee Mayor Noel Harty. “Some wanted to just go ahead as normal, but there were others that thought we might need some changes, so we went ahead but threw in some changes.”
For instance, this year there will be a reverse parade. Harty said the plan is to line up all of the parade entries on West Main Street and then have people drive by and see them from their cars. Officials say that way residents can safely drive past the entries and enjoy each one.
There will also be a tree lighting.
“That is going to be up to the people to attend,” said Harty. “We do want them to social distance and even wear a mask. We will also be live streaming the lighting for those who feel uncomfortable with the potential of being in a crowd.”
The stroll will also be held. Each store will apparently be open, according to the preferences of each business owner.
“If people want to get out and participate, that is up to them,” said Harty. “We do want to caution people to allow for social distancing and to be safe use a mask.”
Loogootee is the only community in the area going ahead with its plans. Washington closed down its parade and so did Odon.
“We understand the cancellations and we are trying to make this as safe as possible,” said Harty. “Of course, if the state would put us in the “red” COVID category then everything will change.”
The most recent rating from the Indiana State Department of Health was an “orange.” Martin County is recording 604 positive cases per 100,000 people. The positivity rate (the number testing positive for the coronavirus versus the total number of tests) stands at 12.62% and is rising.
Officials say the decision to move forward was made in conjunction with the Martin County Health Department.
“I think we can pull this off,” said Harty. “But only if the participants are as cautious as the people putting it on. If people will just social distance, and wear their masks I think we can do this without creating a health problem.”