City trades holiday event for drive-in

COLUMBIANA — Chamber of Commerce Heidi Dattilio has announced the Very Columbiana Christmas event won’t happen this year.

Cancellation of the Saturday event on Main Street is a direct result of the public safety concerns and increase of COVID-19 cases. Dattilio said the decision was a tough one given how bad the city needs a sense of normalcy right now.

“It was a very difficult decision to make,” Dattilio said. “We just felt that it was best, but we didn’t want to let everyone down. During this time of year, people need something exciting to look forward to, so we had another idea.”

The chamber has decided to instead hold a Christmas drive-in double feature at the Firestone Farms drive-in lot, located on the gravel behind the Harvey House. The gates will open at 5 p.m. Saturday, and the first movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. The event is $10 per car or $15 per car to stay for both movies. The second movie shown will be “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” at 8 p.m.

At its meeting Tuesday, council expressed its happiness with the chamber’s ability to come up with ideas to keep the community engaged.

“We really appreciate all of the work the chamber is doing,” Councilman Rick Noel said. “You guys continue to think outside of the box, and we appreciate the efforts of the chamber to try to do the best you can.”

Councilman Dan Bekar echoed Noel, saying the chamber’s creativity has been a game changer for the city.

“The chamber does a great job of brainstorming,” Bekar said. “This has been launched for a year, and you guys are doing a great job of moving forward and keeping everyone excited. I hope you guys keep up the good work.”

The event also will be helping the toy drive, as visitors are encouraged to bring a new toy to receive a ticket to have a chance of winning raffle prizes. One ticket will be given for each toy donated.

There will also be a contest where attendees can decorate their car in honor of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” The winner will earn the Griswold Award and prizes.

Council agreed that the cancellation was the right decision, and Dattilio said that they are already looking forward to next year’s Very Columbiana Christmas.

“I know this was going to be a great event if we were able to have it downtown,” Dattilio said. “But I will say that next year we plan on it being bigger and better than it would have been this year, so it’s something we’re not going to give up on.”

Tickets for the drive-in event can be purchased at the gate or online today and Saturday.


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