By AMBER GINTER
Southern Ohio Today
Leaders throughout the region are trying to be creative with how to have community events as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Piketon, Mayor Billy Spencer hopes the second annual Christmas tree lighting will bring some joy to village residents.
“I think that anything that can bring the community together, especially when the village can do anything like that, then that’s a good thing,” Spencer said.
On Saturday from 4-8 p.m. on Main Street there will be a vendor fair to go along with the tree lighting and Christmas music by Piketon students, which will occur at 6:30 p.m.
While Spencer explained that last year the streets were filled with guests and activities, this year’s presentation will look differently.
“We had huge crowds in 2019, but because of COVID-19, this year will be more subdued,” Spencer said. “If people show up, wear a mask, and social distance. We can still have a lovely lighting ceremony.”
Spencer said events like tree lightnings can instill community pride and are important despite becoming less common.
“I think many towns have gotten away from that kind of stuff, but it’s essential,” he said. “I want people to be proud of Piketon, and I know I am.”
While Piketon cannot have their yearly Santa, ice-skating, and treats, Spencer said there are still a lot of positives happening.
“I think Piketon is unique in that we are growing and prospering, and we work hard for that to happen,” he said. “It’s a unique town.”
Spencer said he hopes the tree lightning will help anyone struggling through the pandemic.
“If this event helps people forget about COVID-19 for a little bit, then we’ve done what we set out to do,” he said.
For more information visit the Piketon Mayor Facebook page or call the Village Government Center at (740) 289-8154.