North Texas Cities Adjust Holiday Festivities Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The celebrations will look different, but they'll still have the same spirit and holiday cheer.

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North Texas cities are holding holiday celebrations that look much different this year as they adjust to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santa Claus made an early stop in McKinney Friday night for a virtual tree lighting with the mayor and his family.  

Sunday, Alva Lopez and her friends gathered for a photo around the Christmas tree in downtown McKinney. 

“I think everyone would enjoy being here and taking pictures and having fun with your families,” Lopez said.

In years past, the city's Home for the Holidays event would have seen about 40,000 visitors on the weekend after Thanksgiving.   

This year, it will be spread out for a month-long celebration across downtown McKinney.   

“It kind of makes sense," visitor Jennifer Joyce said. "That way you have less crowds in one place. I guess there’s a benefit to that. You’ve got more time to see stuff, and more time to celebrate."

The Dallas Zoo reimagined its holiday lights display with a drive-thru experience.  

In Arlington, the Texas Christkindl Market went virtual this year, offering online experiences.  

Fort Worth’s Sundance Square also made changes to prevent large crowds by keeping its plaza closed.  

“For us, it’s all about, 'How can we stay positive? how can we pivot and do as much as we can with the limitations that we’re given?'” said Andrew Jones, special events coordinator for the city of McKinney.

McKinney will also offer visits from Santa - with plenty of social distance for everyone’s safety.

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