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Marquette DDA adapts holiday events due to COVID-19 concerns

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Downtown Development Authority is adapting its traditional holiday events due to COVID-19 concerns.

According to a Thursday press release, the MDDA has canceled its annual Winter Snow Fun Holiday Parade and annual City Tree Lighting in favor of a Light Up Downtown Marquette event on Thursday consisting of drive-by vistits with Santa as well as a brand new downtown decorating contest.

Participating downtown Marquette businesses will compete in several categories including best light display, most unique or unusual decorating display, best traditional holiday display as well as a community choice category in which residents can vote online at www.downtownmarquette.org for their favoi

The best overall holiday display will win a $1,000 advertising package from WLUC TV-6 and the MDDA.

Santa will be stationed with his sleigh near the Marquette Commons and the city Christmas tree from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, where residents can drive by and greet him.

Attendees should enter Marquette Commons parking lot from South Third Street and remain in their vehicles, wear masks and observe physical distancing from those outside of their household, the release states.

The Marquette Post Office staff will be on hand to collect letters to Santa. Those who would like to receive a letter back are reminded to include a return address. Marquette Mayor Jenna Smith and Mayor Pro-Tem Jenn Hill will also participate in the event.

MDDA Executive Director Rebecca Finco said organizers are excited to have Santa say ‘hello’ from a safe distance.

“We are concerned for the safety of the community and don’t feel the current COVID-19 situation is conducive to holding a traditional parade and tree lighting this year,” Finco said in the release. “However, we do want to help spread holiday cheer and bring joy to what might otherwise be a dark time of year, and feel a drive-through event could do that.”

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