Santa Cruise replaces annual holiday event

By Bob Bjoin,
Managing Editor
    COUNTY – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced local officials to make the difficult decision to cancel a number of holiday events for safety reasons, including the annual Welcome to the Holidays celebration originally slated for this weekend.
    Todd Valline, executive director of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said with COVID-19, the communities in Shelby County are unable to do many of the things done in the past.
    Santa Claus is Coming to Town won’t be held where Santa visited the many communities in Shelby County, nor will the Santa in the Cabins event be held at the historical museum.  The annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony also has been canceled.
    “This year we will not be able to do our Welcome to the Holidays event that we normally do,” Valline said.  The event was to be held Saturday, Nov. 28, with the annual lighting of the official Shelby County Christmas tree on the courthouse square in Harlan, the arrival of Santa Claus, cookies, hot cocoa, music and caroling.
    That doesn’t mean there won’t be an alternative, said Valline.  Hop aboard the Santa Cruise this year, he said.
    “We’re going to put Santa on an emergency vehicle,” Valline explained.  “We’ll start at the fire department and we’ll have a route that will just wind through Harlan.

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