District, village rethink holiday traditions to meet social distancing guidelines

Santa+drove+through+Park+Ridge+waving+at+happy+watchers.

Santa drove through Park Ridge waving at happy watchers.

The small town of Granville typically puts on a big lineup of annual holiday festivities such as the high school musical performance, the Candlelight Walking Tour, the Santa Claus tour and seasonal competitions. Most of these events will be changed this year in order to keep people safe and joyful this holiday season.

The high school music department has faced great difficulty trying to figure out exactly how they will string together a nice, functional holiday performance. Working hard for months, with each other and students, they think they have found the perfect solution.

“This year we will make a website to house all of our holiday recordings,” high school choir director Kristen Snyder said. All choir, band and orchestra performances will be uploaded to the website.

A growing obstacle that Covid has brought is that more and more students are online.

“Now, with Covid numbers rising and more students either choosing to go remote or being quarantined, it has been difficult to record for our virtual performances,” orchestra teacher Samantha Schnabel said.

“The most challenging aspect is certainly proving to be the finale where all band, choir and orchestra students combine together for one piece,” band director Jared Smith said.

The Granville High School Symphonic Choir, Sinfonia Orchestra and Symphonic Band combine to perform George F. Handel’s “Hallelujuah Chorus.”

This year’s musical concert tradition will be nothing like previous years but Schnabel said that teachers and students are looking forward to sharing music with their families and the community.

”Our goal is just to spread some cheer!” middle school choir teacher Jessica Zenelack said.

The district always puts on a number of Christmas celebrations from Santa Claus coming to town all the way to holiday light contest. Of course Covid has taken a toll on a few of these Christmas plans, but the village is trying their hardest to make the season as holly as can be.

Santa Claus made a visit to multiple different locations such as Broadway, the Intermediate School, the Elementary School, Bryn Du Woods neighborhood, The Glen at Erinwood, Park Trails and Park Ridge. The Explore Granville website encouraged Santa watchers to “bring [their] jingle bells!” People are asked to stay in their driveways or if at a school or Broadway try to remain socially distanced. Santa then drives by and waves at all the watchers.

One of the most popular of the Granville events is the Candlelight Walking Tour celebrating it’s 35th anniversary. This annual event has also taken a turn due to Corona. This unfortunate time has led to almost all of the typical entertainments to be shut down including the gingerbread house competition, the caroling and the open buildings with beautiful decorations to view. The way the Candlelight walking tour looked this year was decorated trees and outsides of buildings, virtual caroling, horse drawn carriages (one family at a time), and lastly a small food stand selling hot chocolate, hot cider and popcorn.

The last hoorah Granville is giving this year is the Let it Glow holiday light contest. There may be one winner for each of the four categories. The categories being: Clark Griswald’s House, the best use of Santa, Winter Wonderland, the Grinch house and the most creative. The guidelines state that “residences and businesses are required to be located within the Granville School District.” Participation is free, but an entry form is required. The hopes are that the village will be filled with holiday cheer this bizarre Christmas season.

Granville is putting so much effort into trying to make this holiday season as normal as possible but with the conditions the world is under it can be quite difficult at times. Masks and social distancing are encouraged, but a good time is promised.

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