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News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Mayor's Tree Lighting Ceremony Moved To Television This Year Due To Pandemic

Downtown Springfield Association

The Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, which kicks off Springfield’s Festival of Lights every year will still be held during the pandemic, but it will look a lot different.

At a press conference Wednesday, city spokeswoman, Cora Scott, said the city will team up with the newly formed Ozarks Performing Arts League this year to put on the event November 21 at 7 p.m.  Instead of inviting the public downtown to see the lighting ceremony, the city will broadcast the event on KY-3.

The theme will be “Lifting Lives through the Power of the Arts,” and the tree lighting will take place on the Vantage Rooftop downtown. 

"It will feature performances by some of Springfield's finest performing artists and groups," she said.  "The lineup includes acts by Springfield Little Theatre, Springfield Regional Opera, Springfield Ballet as well as area performers who have achieved fame on the Great White Way, Tinsel Town and other venues across the country."

After the ceremony, the public will be able to drive through a lighted exhibit and take selfies with Santa.

Springfield mayor, Ken McClure, said he’s grateful to all who are making this year’s event possible even though it will look a lot different.

"In 2020, you can stay home, you can watch the wonderful show on television.  You can then drive downtown, see the lights in person and even see Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus from a safe distance," he said.

Scott said they’ll provide details after the tree lighting about this year’s Festival of Lights, coordinated by the Downtown Springfield Association and the Downtown Community Improvement District.  She said they’re planning safe events to celebrate the holiday season.