Thousands of lights are being wound around trees in Esther Short Park in the days leading up to the Nov. 26 lighting of the community tree.
Clark Public Utilities is hanging LED lights throughout the park, in partnership with the city of Vancouver, for the holiday season despite there not being a ceremony. J&J Roofing and Construction will hang lights on the community tree the week of Thanksgiving.
To fill the place of the traditional ceremony, the city and the Vancouver Rotary Club are creating a video that will kick off the community tree-lighting featuring Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, which is set to be posted online. There might even be a special appearance from Santa Claus, said Melody Burton, Vancouver marketing manager.
Due to COVID-19-related mandates and staffing impacts, the in-person event was canceled. In previous years, there would be a gathering with hot cocoa, festivities and a visit from the mayor.
“Christmas will still happen,” Burton said. “There should still be a festive atmosphere.”
The short video can be seen at cityofvancouver.us/winterevents.
Downtown Vancouver will be lit up 24 hours a day from late-November to Jan. 1, and will also feature a bright community menorah.
The Chabad Jewish Center will host a small event to celebrate Hanukkah at 5 p.m. Nov. 28 in Esther Short Park. There will be doughnuts, hot cocoa, a multimedia presentation and a lighting of the menorah, which will be lit every day until Dec. 6.
Everyone is welcome to come, regardless of their beliefs, Burton said.