Holiday festivities began in Cambria County Friday night with the debut of the Hometown Christmas Stroll in Downtown Johnstown.
“We weren’t going to let this night go by without doing something. We look at it as our responsibility to the community to give them something on this night,” said Melissa Radovanic, President of the Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership who organized this event.
This year would have been the 75th Anniversary of the “Hometown Christmas Parade” and “Light Up Night,” but the event has been adapted due to Covid-19.
“We wanted to try to do something that would still bring people Downtown to celebrate the kickoff of the holiday season, but it’s almost in the way of a reverse parade,” she said.
Main Street was closed between Walnut and Franklin Street, where those traditional balloons and floats were parked for people to visit on their own.
“It’s our version of still having a Christmas light up Downtown, while being protective and cognizant of everything that’s going on in the world today with the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
The Christmas Tree was lit up throughout the whole evening, instead of planning it for one set time, to lessen the crowds.
Visitors could even stroll into Central Park to see the Christmas Village, where 28 houses built and sponsored by local businesses are on display.
As always, people were encouraged to visit the restaurants and businesses Downtown.
“Planning an event in the middle of this was difficult, so we’re happy and proud that we’re able to bring the community something tonight,” Radovanic said.