Group cancels ‘A Christmas in Carlinville’ events

Group cancels ‘A Christmas in Carlinville’ events

By: DANIEL WINNINGHAM

Enquirer~Democrat managing editor

If attending ‘A Carlinville Christmas on the Square’ was on one’s bucket list in 2020, well, that will be on hold for at least a year.

A business group in charge of the planning for the annual event announced last week that the 2020 version of the event will not take place.

“After much discussion, the Board of ‘A Carlinville Christmas on the Square’ has cancelled our December festival due to Covid,” according to an Aug. 20 press release. “Many factors were taken into account in the decision…We are concerned about people’s health and well-being. We certainly don’t want to contribute to families not being able to get together and being quarantined during the holidays. Businesses will be setting their own holiday specials and hours this season.”

“It’s more important than ever to shop local and shop small,” the release stated. “There will be another Carlinville Christmas on the Square…just not this year.”

Determining the number of people in each store would be difficult, Young noted.

If a specific store was at capacity, those wanting to shop there would then have to wait until others left and went elsewhere, according to Young.

“They tell us how many people we can have based on square footage,” he said.

“If there were tents, the venders would have to be spread apart,” Young said.

Young, the president of “A Carlinville Christmas on the Square,” said the group typically meets each month. While the meetings have not been held every month since the pandemic, it was time to make a decision.

“We’ve slowed down since the virus has come about,” Young said, adding the Aug. 20 decision was a unanimous one by the board.

Despite the announced cancellation, the business group is planning on holding another raffle this year.

Only 400 tickets are available, and they can be purchased at most businesses on or near the Square for $20 apiece.

The drawing will take place on our before Dec. 4.

Proceeds from the raffle will be used to purchase Christmas decorations for the Square, Young said.

No decision on Christmas Market yet

“We will be surveying our vendors in the next couple weeks,” said Tim Rhodus, president of the Carlinville Chamber of Commerce. “If it is possible to have the Christmas Market safely then we want to have it.”

Rhodus acknowledged the importance of that December weekend for the city and local businesses.

“Christmas Market weekend is a huge weekend for Carlinville businesses,” he said. “In some cases, our business community needs the business traffic to survive.

“We recognize our responsibility to provide a safe environment, or cancel, and our responsibility to the Carlinville business community to offer an event that brings potential customers to our community to help support them and their businesses,” Rhodus said. “We take both of those responsibilities very seriously.”

No deadline on when a decision on the Christmas Market’s future has been determined, according to Rhodus.

“We have not set a deadline for that decision to be made,” Rhodus said. “The first step is to survey to our vendors. Then we will work through the process from there.”