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Holiday Stroll to continue with changes to event

T-R file photo The annual Holiday Stroll has had to undergo some changes with restrictions placed on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The craft village will no longer be available and the Tree Festival will not be auctioned.

Despite the restrictions placed on gatherings by Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday due to rising COVID-19 cases, the Holiday Stroll in Marshalltown will go on. However, some alterations to the original plan have been made.

The Nov. 21 event will no longer feature the Christmas Craft Village, music and entertainment. Also, the Tree Festival has been changed to a display which will be viewable at 26 E. Main St.

On Tuesday, Reynolds announced masks would be required for gatherings of 25 or more indoors and 100 or more outside. It was also mandated social distancing — 6 feet of separation — would have to be maintained between people. After the announcement was made, Alushia Fitzgerald, who chairs the Holiday Stroll Board, said some impromptu decisions were quickly made.

“With the Holiday Stroll being so close and everything else having been canceled in town this year, we knew if we took a few pieces out, we could still put something nice together for the community,” she said.

Rather than auctioning off the decorated trees, this year the Holiday Stroll committee will give them to needy families. However, since the Tree Festival is a fundraiser, a GoFundMe page has been set up to take donations. Money collected will be used for next year’s Holiday Stroll.

Fitzgerald said if people are unable to wear a mask, or refuse to do so, they are asked to remain in their cars and drive through, enjoying the sights along the way.

Indicators will also be placed at select locations to remind people to maintain social distancing.

“These decisions were not taken lightly,” Fitzgerald said. “We are confident we can continue to hold true to the Holiday Stroll with these alterations and remind people there are still great businesses downtown that need support.”

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Contact Lana Bradstream at

lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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