Editor’s note: This story was updated Nov. 24 at 8:30 a.m. with additional information from Hamilton Township about Holiday in the Park.
Hamilton Township has announced the Holiday in the Park event, saying the replacement for Winter Wonderland is a safer way for residents to celebrate the holiday season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Holiday in the Park begins on Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5 from 5-9 p.m. On those dates, people may walk through Kuser Park and follow a trail around the park that will be decorated with lights and booming with Christmas music. There also will be photo opportunities around the park.
On Sunday, Dec. 6, foot traffic will no longer be allowed in Kuser Park. Instead, visitors will be allowed to drive through the park to experience the scenes in the safety of their cars. Drive-thru tours will continue from Dec. 6 to Jan. 1, 2021, every night from 5-9 p.m.
Admission is free for both the walk-through and the drive-through events. Township officials said the event is first-come, first-serve. They are not limiting who is admitted into the event, and there are no timed tickets.
Event organizers said Santa Claus will be quarantining in preparation for Christmas, and will be unable to attend the township event this year.
In fact, the majority of the traditional Winter Wonderland features—like the Holiday Express Train and the formal tree lighting—won’t be taking place this year, but Holiday in the Park exists to keep the tradition alive amid COVID-19 guidelines. Winter Wonderland will return as soon as it is safe for it to be held, township officials said.
Until then, Holiday in the Park is a festive option to enjoy the holidays in Hamilton Township.