Lights and music coming back downtown
While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of events to be cancelled this year, there is one event that is still happening: A Columbia Christmas.
Nik Ingram with Experience Columbia made the announcement Wednesday afternoon. However, at this point what events and activities there will be is still up in the area due to the pandemic. For certain Ingram said, will be the lighting of downtown and the light show synced to music.
The tree lighting and lighting of downtown will be held Nov. 28, at 7 p.m.
Columbia Mayor Justin McKenzie said Wednesday that he was really excited about the event coming back this year.
“A Columbia Christmas is a unique experience and a great way to draw people to Columbia,” McKenzie said.
Last October the Columbia Board of Aldermen voted to accept a proposal from Experience Columbia LLC to host the downtown celebration for the city. The proposal was for $275,000 that was paid for from the 3% tourism tax on the restaurants and lodging in the city. The city has collected more than $800,000 since the tax collection began July 2019. The Request for Proposal that was approved was for two years.
The lighting of downtown has been an annual event for the last two years. McKenzie said the community has the momentum going for it, after two highly successful years and he would hate to for the city to lose it.
As for the different events, Ingram said as the time draws closer, the mandates at the time will determine what events will be held.
“We are taking the virus seriously, and we want to make sure whatever we are able to do will be safe for everyone,” Ingram said.
Kristian Agoglia with Experience Columbia LLC said right now the planning is going day by day and everyone is seeing what is going to happen with the virus. However, he feels like something is needed.
“After everything everyone has been through this year, we need to end the year on a positive note,” Agoglia said.