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Holiday Cheer Spread Through Downtown

Left, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, has a little help from his friends as they turn on the 2020 city of Jamestown Christmas Tree at the Jamestown Municipal Building prior to the Downtown Holiday Cruise Friday. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Christmas and holiday cheer was spread one vehicle at a time in downtown Jamestown Friday.

The first ever drive-through Downtown Holiday Cruise was held with families and people driving by Santa Claus and the lit Christmas Tree at the Jamestown Municipal Building. The traditional Christmas parade was canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, city officials didn’t want to do nothing to celebrate the holiday season.

“It’s a way for people to still enjoy holiday cheer,” said Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist last month about the holiday cruise.

Sundquist said the idea came from the city of Geneva, which hosted a similar parade for Halloween. He said during the new holiday parade a family can be safely in their vehicle and still see the giant Christmas tree on Tracy Plaza, wave to Santa Claus and sing carols. He added the Jamestown Renaissance Corp., chamber of commerce and the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities partnered with the city in the holiday event.

Local businesses and organizations also were able to participate in the holiday cruise. Instead of the traditional float traveling by people standing on the sidewalks, businesses and organizations created displays in parking spaces, which people could see while driving by in their vehicles.

Santa Claus waves to people participating in the Downtown Holiday Cruise along Third Street in Jamestown Friday. The first ever “reverse” Christmas parade was held instead of the traditional event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

The businesses and organizations that participated in the parade included AT&T; Brick City Concrete; Boy Scouts of America Troop 152; Crown Street Roasting Company; Girls Scouts Troop 20155; Jamestown Tarp Skunks; Kallie’s Krusade; New York Army National Guard; TA Auto Repair Sales and Service; and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve/Toys for Tots.

Prior to the parade, Sundquist and some friends lit the city’s Christmas Tree on Tracy Plaza.

In accordance with state safety guidelines there were no handouts and no sales allowed by vendors this year. Spectators were urged to view the “parade in reverse” by car with their immediate household members.

The cruise was designed to be a safe and physically distanced event for families. Downtown businesses were encouraged to remain open for business for the evening and to follow all current state protocols for social distancing and mask-wearing.

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