Celebrating Christmas at a Distance

North Canton illuminates Main Street to celebrate the season

Reese Henne, Sports Editor

The Main Street Lights are a tradition North Canton has done for 101 years as of 2020. This year was different from all the others due to COVID. I talked to a member of the planning team on how they came up with the idea of “Holiday Drive North Canton.”

The idea that they weren’t going to be able to have the drive-by this year wasn´t what they had hoped for. They decided on other ways to still make it magical.

“The planning team came together on the City Hall portico in September. At that time there was still a glimmer of hope that things might be better in December, but we decided it was smart to not take the risk or planning, and then having to cancel, our traditional Winterfest.” She said. “We talked about alternatives, and the idea of a drive-through event came up.” Christina Weyrick a member of the planning committee stated.

A big difference this year is the tree lighting. Many people attend the tree lighting and the performances that go along with it in the past, but this year that could not happen.

“Traditionally, the event has had group performances and large choirs. This year, Stark County went purple on Ohio’s coronavirus map the week of the first Holiday Drive event, and we canceled all group performances as well” She said.

There are many different blowups along the road and people in costumes to see while you’re driving Main Street. Santa and Mrs. Clause were out in the evening as well as the Grinch and his dog Max. You may also be able to see the cast of Frozen. Many businesses along the street decorated their buildings as well to add the holiday spirit. It is a very beautiful sight to see as you drive.

One of the best parts of the main street lights is late at night when you are driving down the road and it’s pitch blackout. When you look out the window and all you see are beautiful Christmas lights and blowups. It is so mesmerizing to look at and be excited for the holidays.

There are many people and organizations that worked hard to make this possible. They all contributed to making the drive-by lights amazing.

“The North Canton Chamber of Commerce takes the lead with planning but has strong support for its partners, the City of North Canton, the North Canton Public Library, and the North Canton Jaycees,” she said. “The Chamber oversees all of the details and keeps all of the partner organizations informed. The City plays a key role in planning the actual tree lighting, supplying police officers to keep traffic flowing safely, providing costumed characters, and overall support for the entire event” Christina said.

Many of these organizations not only helped us but helped others with their missions. This helped people in need be able to have a good holiday.

“The Library provides graphic design and all publicity, distributed 300 Library to Go Holiday Drive kits to children, and has characters out each weekend. The Jaycees are on-site each Saturday collecting donations for Adopt A Family and helping to collect letters for Santa¨ she said. Fast Signs of North Canton also came through generously donating the printing of signs and banners advertising the event.”

With everything going on in the world it was great to see some sense of normalcy. It helped people see some good in the year.

“We’ve lost so much this year. We did not want to lose this opportunity to celebrate the magic of the holidays in our city” she said. “North Canton is a special place built on a great deal of tradition. Community leaders wanted to create something special that would bring joy to families” Weyrick said.