OGDEN — For the 58th consecutive year, Ogden City will host Christmas Village downtown.
But amid an ongoing pandemic, things will be quite a bit different in 2020, with most of the regular attractions associated with the month-long Christmas celebration put off until at least next year.
According to a press release from the city, the Holiday Electric Light Parade, the Opening Gala and firework show, visits with Santa in his castle, on-stage entertainment, photos, train rides and essentially everything apart from strolling through the outdoor village will be canceled this season.
“There won’t be any of the opening ceremonies, the tours, Santa Claus or anything like that,” said Ogden Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson. “Essentially, we’re just going to set the cottages up, turn on the lights and welcome people to come walk around.”
Since 1962, the downtown Christmas display has served as the backdrop for holiday time in Weber County. The village typically features about 70 holiday-themed cottages, according to Ogden’s website, sponsored and made by members of the community. Arranged around the Ogden Municipal Building, 2549 Washington Blvd., the village will be open daily, from 5 p.m. to midnight.
The city is asking that visitors to the village wear face coverings at all times, maintain at least a 6-foot distance from other households and groups, refrain from touching the cottages or other areas, and wash or sanitize hands frequently, especially before and after visiting the village.
“We’re really hoping that by next year, we’re all the way back,” Johnson said. “But right now, with the way the pandemic is going, this is just the right thing to do. It’s unfortunate, but we feel like what we’re doing is a safe middle ground. We’re still going to have all the lights, we’ll still have the cottages. And those, really, are the main draws. It’s outside, so people should be able to socially distance.”
According to the news release, the theme for 2020 is “Gnome For The Holidays.” Hoodies will be sold at the Ogden Municipal Building on the second floor and at the Ogden Union Station Gift Shop, 2501 Wall Ave. This year’s honorary mayors for Christmas Village are Jeff and Beth Furton, owners of Daily Rise Coffee.
The city’s Christmas Village committee is also working with local artists to record holiday songs that will be played as visitors stroll around the village. Local musicians interested in participating should go to www.ogdencity.com/853/Opportunities-for-Musicians.