With glistening lights and a flip of the switch Thursday evening, Santa Clarita City Council members sought to spread holiday cheer with a virtual version of Light Up Main Street.
The annual event typically brings together about 10,000-plus people to Old Town Newhall to kick off the holiday season, featuring live performances, fake snow machines and, of course, the ceremonial tree lighting.
“However, as you all know, due to the current health restrictions, it is not possible for all of us to come together in person as a community,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth, who made the announcement outside of the Old Town Newhall Library beside the rest of the council and the Christmas tree. (The event was live-streamed, and is available to watch on The Signal’s Facebook page.)
“But we can come together virtually, which is why we are here tonight, to bring you some holiday spirit and joy and a little bit of normalcy,” Smyth said.
Counting down in unison with the rest of the City Council, Smyth pulled a lever that turned on tens of thousands of sparkling lights from the Christmas tree all the way down Main Street. Local resident Kelsey Alter performed “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
The mayor encouraged residents to visit Old Town Newhall to see the tree, decorations and the rest of the illuminated area.
He urged the community, however, to practice COVID-19 safety measures amid a surge in new diagnoses. L.A. County reported Thursday the highest number of daily cases since the onset of the pandemic with more than 5,000 cases.
“Certainly, when you come down and enjoy all that Old Town has to offer, we encourage you to follow the safety protocols including maintaining social distance, wearing a face covering around those that are not part of your immediate household or as you visit any of our shops here in Newhall,” he said, reminding residents they can also enjoy the scene from their vehicles.