Dec. 3, 2020
Columbia Mayor Pam Hoots says she’s been thinking about doing something different to celebrate Christmas in the city.
“Christmas in Columbia” is usually held in December and always draws large crowds. However, that was canceled this year because of COVID-19.
So, Hoots and city officials have decided to hold a “Drive-thru Christmas” Dec. 10-27 at the Joe Johnson Little League Park. Gates will open at 5 p.m. each night and close at 9 p.m.
“We’ve been thinking about doing some kind of drive-thru Christmas for some time, and I think this has really worked out,” Hoots said. “I think this is going to be a great alternative to “Christmas in Columbia,” because you could go (to the park) every night if you want.”
Hoots said patrons will pull into the park and signs will direct drivers which way to enter to see the displays, and which way to exit the facility. She said she is planning to have this event each year and wants to make it as big as possible.
“There has been a great turnout and we have a lot of people doing different things,” Hoots said. “There will be a lot of churches participating, a lot of businesses and organizations participating. They’ve already been out there working on the fields.”
Hoots said the turnout of organizations wanting to take part in the event has been larger than expected. More than 30 businesses and groups have committed and she said they have spaces for up to 40.
“I will be calling on some people today because we have some that weren’t for sure,” Hoots said earlier this week. “We’ve almost got a full house.”
There is no admission charge to enter the park. Hoots said she is thinking about giving patrons the opportunity to donate to a local charity if they want to.
“I am hoping this will lift people’s spirits, considering the type of year this has been,” Hoots said. “This will be a good thing to bring your children to, or if you’re taking care of your parents you can bring them, too.”
For more information on how to reserve a spot for your business or organization, contact Hoots at 270-384-2501.
“We want to ensure everyone knows this is an event for our community,” Hoots said. “(I am so excited) we’re having a lot of people donate things to help us. Everybody realizes this has been a hard year for everyone and this event gives you a chance to smile. We all need that.”
By Scott Wilson