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Pandemic forces changes to Omaha holiday traditions

Christmas in the Village will be different to help prevent spread
Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 7:35 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Every year, organizers make Christmas in the Village bigger and better -- this year the annual north Omaha Christmas celebration will feature live nativity animals.

But because of the coronavirus, the public will have to view all of the attractions from the safety of their cars.

Christmas in the Village is one of north Omaha’s major holiday events, attracting a growing number of people to the north 24th Street corridor.

“It has grown every year we’ve gone from a thousand back to 10 years ago to over 5,000 and we want to continue to keep that tradition going,” said Vicki Quaites-Ferris with the Empowerment Network.

This year, Christmas in the Village will be more about protecting the village.

There will be decorations along north 24th Street, but organizers don’t want any foot traffic.

No walking from building to building. They want to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, there will be a drive-thru celebration. And organizers say there will be plenty to look at as you cruise along north 24th street.

But for area businesses, no foot traffic means no business.

Valerie Bradford is a business owner in the Fair Deal Village Marketplace. She understands it’s important to be safe.

“Christmas in the Village is a big source of revenue for my business every year and we will miss that,” she said.

Shopping online will help local businesses, and driving thru on north 24th Street instead of walking around will keep people safe. COVID-19 has forced all of us to make changes to our holiday events.

This is the 10th year for Christmas in the Village.

The event is presented by the Empowerment Network and the Omaha Economic Development Corporation.

It will be held on Dec. 5.

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