How the Lighting of the Greens Adapted to Covid-19

How the Lighting of the Greens Adapted to Covid-19

In Chagrin Falls, the annual Lighting of the Greens ceremony is one of the most memorable times of the year that brings members of the community together to celebrate the holidays. This year, the spread of Covid-19 had a direct impact on the proceeding of the tradition, forcing members of the community to watch the tree-lighting ceremony virtually from their homes. 

At the beginning of November, Cuyahoga County issued a Stay-At-Home advisory to combat the continuous increase of Covid-19 cases in the community. Later that week, the Village of Chagrin Falls and the Chagrin Valley Jaycees announced that the ceremony would be continued as a virtual event.

“In these difficult times, it is important that we learn how to safely celebrate together while we are physically distanced apart,” said Kristy Holmes, a writer for the Village of Chagrin Falls website. 

In a press release that addressed the changes to this year’s ceremony, Holmes noted that families could watch the town light up for Christmas via the Valley of Chagrin Falls YouTube channel, the Drone Ohio video feed, through social media channels, or by a Zoom watch party organized by members of the community. 

On Friday November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, the event ran smoothly – with several Chagrin Falls residents attending the virtual ceremony. 

To begin the night, Santa was escorted through town by the Chagrin Valley Jaycees to address viewers and wish them a happy holiday before pressing the button to turn on Christmas lights all across Chagrin Falls. 

“The holidays may look different, but will still be filled with magic – and presents!” Santa said as he addressed children virtually. 

Viewers were also encouraged to turn on their own Christmas lights when Santa pressed the button, a moment captured by Drone Ohio as the village transformed from darkness to colorful light at the end of Santa’s dramatic countdown. 

The video of the event is available to watch on the Drone Ohio Facebook page, where viewers can also watch recaps of other famous Chagrin Falls events, such as the annual Pumpkin Roll. 

While the condition of this year’s Lighting of the Greens was not ideal, the Village of Chagrin Falls and the Chagrin Valley Jaycees made members of the community feel as close and connected as possible in a virtual environment. 

“As we enter a very different holiday season, we encourage everyone to stay safe – be positive, and test negative!” said the Chagrin Valley Jaycees in a statement regarding the event. 

Members of the Chagrin Falls community are hoping that next year’s ceremony will be filled with the same joy and excitement, but in an in-person format so that residents can physically gather together to celebrate and embrace the holiday spirit. 

As Covid-19 cases continue to increase in Cuyahoga County and throughout Ohio in general, public health officials encourage residents of the community to continue taking action to slow the spread of the virus and keep families safe and healthy during the holiday season and for the upcoming new year.