WARSAW — A small, informal gathering at the Kosciusko County Courthouse Square welcomed in the Christmas season with the lighting of a Christmas Tree.
About 15 people watched as the tree near the corner of North Buffalo and Center streets was lit up with the help of Mayor Joe Thallemer and Santa Claus.
Unlike traditional years, there were no carolers and Santa resisted hugging the few children who attended.
Thallemer welcomed the small crowd, noting that the new holiday season would be significantly different this year in light of the pandemic.
“Most important, I just want everybody to have a very, very safe and blessed Christmas this year,” Thallemer said. “You know it’s going to be a lot different than any Christmas you’ve ever had, but the city is so thankful for everything people are doing to keep this pandemic down.
I think we’ve got a little light at the end of the tunnel, but we’ve got to keep our masks on and keep our distances and let’s just have a good old fashioned homestyle Christmas this year,” he said.
Thallemer thanked Anderson’s Greenhouse for putting up the tree, which was provided by Traditions Tree Farm, in Rochester. Lake City Rental also helped out, he said.
Warsaw Community Development Corp. has a video of the tree lighting on its Facebook page.
The Santa Shop is on display with music, but the Warsaw Morning Optimist Club, which runs the holiday program each year, is making it an online activity in which videos are sent on Christmas Eve.
Anyone who visits the Santa Shop near the tree can get a QR code used to fill out a form to interact with Santa.
Central Park’s massive Christmas lights display was lit up for the first time this season Tuesday.