The community and visitors look forward to Geneva festivals year after year, but this year, the Christmas holiday season will be a little different.
“Knowing that our first thought, during these uncertain times, is the health and safety of those who may attend a festival, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Geneva Chamber of Commerce Board has made the difficult decision to cancel the traditional 2020 Christmas Walk, as we have had it in the past,” Chamber of Commerce Communications Coordinator Laura Rush said.
The walk, scheduled for Dec. 4, is being modified due to the pandemic and to avoid crowds and gatherings of size.
Christmas Walk Weekends will be Dec. 4-6, Dec. 12-13 and Dec. 19-20. Each weekend will feature something joyful related to the holidays.
“Under the unique challenges of these unparalleled times, we felt it was important to continue this cherished holiday tradition,” Rush said. “While it will certainly look different in execution, this year’s holiday will bring smiles.”
Due to COVID-19 and state regulations, officials say any of these events may be cancelled. If this occurs, you will receive a full refund for any reservations booked.
The theme for the Dec. 4 to Dec. 6 weekend will be “Traditions, Old & New.”
A favorite, chestnuts roasting, will commence on Dec. 4. Downtown visitors can enjoy the tree and light show on the courthouse lawn all season long.
So as not to encourage crowds, a time will not be released when lighting occurs. Dec. 4 is also December’s First Friday in Geneva, where shops are open late.
The theme for the Dec. 12-13 weekend will be Carols & Music.
Visitors may carol with family members while sipping cocoa and coffee in an outside caroling tent. Families, up to five people, can reserve a table for $15.
At this point, the caroling event is sold out. Please call the Chamber of Commerce at 630-232-6060 to be put on a waiting list. Enjoy strolling musicians and carols the whole weekend. Again, shops and restaurants will be open.
The Dec. 19-20 weekend brings a Cocoa Crawl to Geneva. Shops and restaurants will be open to grab that last-minute gift. Tickets are available at genevachamber.com.
Santa will be moved to a temporary Geneva downtown location this year. Children are able to speak to him from the outside, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To encourage social distancing and discourage crowds, registration will be required to see Santa, with no exceptions.
The cost to sign up will be $10 per family and times will fill up quickly. REGISTER NOW at genevachamber.com. Chamber officials encourage children to write a letter to Santa and drop it in one of two mailboxes, located at corner of James and Third streets or at the Geneva Visitor Center, 10 S. Third St.
Don’t forget to include a return address so Santa can write back.
If you just want to catch a glimpse of Santa, he will ride in the horse-drawn carriage from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday from Dec. 5 through Dec. 20. Santa’s ride runs from James Street to Crescent Place and back to James Street.
Traditional horse-drawn carriage rides begins at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 5 and will continue until 1:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 20. Pick-up is on the corner of James and Third streets. Reservations not necessary.
Following state regulations, shops are open with a capacity cap, and restaurants will be available for carry-out and dining outside.
“We know holidays in Geneva are very popular and looked forward to, not only by the locals, but visitors to Geneva as well. This event has become a tradition for families and we look forward to seeing everyone for our annual Christmas Walk in 2021,” said Paula Schmidt, president of Geneva Chamber of Commerce. “Continue to follow our Facebook and Instagram and check our website for updates.”
Details, updates and registration information will be available on genevachamber.com by mid-November. Due to COVID-19, the Geneva Chamber may have to alter these events.
SOURCE: Geneva Chamber of Commerce news release