By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Christmas cheer is coming to the area on Saturday, Dec. 19, on wheels.
That’s the date of the Jeep Holiday Light Up the Night Parade. It starts at 6 p.m. at Center Lake Pavilion, 119 E. Canal St., Warsaw.
The goal is to cheer up hospital workers and nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Elizabeth Curtis.
She helped put together similar drives in Warsaw, Elkhart, Plymouth and Goshen at the start of the pandemic. The group, K County Jeeps, is largely behind the event.
“It’s been an interesting year to say the least,” Curtis said. She also added many Christmas events have been canceled due to COVID-19.
The plan is for Jeeps to drive past Kosciusko Community Hospital and area nursing homes to brighten workers’ and residents’ moods. The group also might go past Parkview Warsaw. Area residents along the route may also watch.
The idea is “to just bring up the holiday spirits, just the joy around Christmastime,” said Curtis.
Anyone with a Jeep is welcome to join in the parade by meeting at the pavilion. Jeeps may be decked out in Christmas decorations, including lights.
Attendees may also bring individually wrapped non-homemade snacks or drinks to the pavilion. Those will be dropped off to hospital workers by a few designated drivers.
The drive is to end up at Tippy Creek Winery, Leesburg. Curtis estimates that will be about 7:30 p.m.
There are a few rules. Curtis asks that drivers not deck out Jeeps with blue or red lights that might be misconstrued for emergency lights.
She also asks that drivers stay in their Jeeps as much as possible and not linger too long at the winery as she doesn’t want this to spread coronavirus.
Curtis said the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department has been notified of the event and informed the Warsaw Police Department. She’s hoping the WPD will provide a police escort in the city.
She’s not sure how many people will show up for the drive, but at previous events there were more than 200 vehicles.