THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, downtown Thomasville is changing the way it rings in the holiday season, according to a release from the city.
City officials said “tough decisions” had to be made about events that gather large crowds of people, like the city’s annual Victorian Christmas festivities.
“While our traditional Victorian Christmas will not be able to take place this year, the foundation of the event remains: delectable dining, exceptional shopping experiences, and a festive atmosphere will welcome you into Downtown Thomasville throughout the holiday season,” Alan Carson, city manager, said.
“It is important that downtown follows the governor’s orders and remains a good partner to our healthcare systems, as well as our businesses. The governor’s current executive orders do not allow for events as large and crowded as we may be used to this time of year. With the input of our board and merchants, we have created a plan that highlights the allure of the season for shoppers and diners to support their favorite businesses, relishing all that downtown has to offer, while still practicing the Centers for Disease Control recommended social distancing and masking measures," Carson said.
Downtown Thomasville will kick off the holiday season with events like the Holiday Open House on Nov. 22, Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28 and extended Sunday hours throughout December.
“These events are well-loved downtown traditions that we are very pleased to be able to offer this year,” said Christy Owens, Main Street and special events manager.
Holiday Sip and Shop events will be added each Friday night in December leading up to the Christmas holiday, the release states.
“These Sip and Shop events are a collaborative effort, designed with support from our Main Street Advisory Board, as well as our merchants, and we’re happy to be able to make these new events a part of the 2020 holiday season. Sip and Shop events are a great opportunity to enjoy the most festive and merry time of year in downtown Thomasville, while also supporting local businesses. Our downtown shops and restaurants are ready to welcome you and help you celebrate the spirit of the season, so grab a beer or wine from a participating vendor and enjoy shopping the night away in downtown,” Owens said.
The city said Victorian Christmas was created by downtown merchants to highlight shopping and dining.
“We view the addition of the Sip and Shops as a way to return to the original spirit of Victorian Christmas in a safe and innovative way. This has truly been a collaborative effort that we believe will bring some much-needed cheer to our downtown businesses and visitors,” April Norton, director of economic development, said.
The city said hand-washing stations will continue to be throughout the downtown area, and many businesses are offering contactless ordering and delivery options throughout the holiday season.
“Our downtown continues to do a phenomenal job offering customers safe and health-conscious shopping and dining options that allow guests to continue to support local businesses. Whether you choose to shop with us during our Sip and Shop events or from the comfort of your own home for curbside pickup or delivery, Downtown Thomasville is prepared to be your shopping destination this holiday season,” Norton said.