Despite 2020 being a difficult year for many, Downtown Bryan is still bringing holiday cheer to the community.
Destination Bryan will host the Downtown Bryan Lighted Holiday Stroll from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Downtown Bryan on Friday, Dec. 11. This is an adapted event happening in place of the Downtown Lighted Christmas Parade put on every December.
The Stroll features street closure areas placed throughout downtown so visitors can walk around and view stationary parade floats, Christmas lights and holiday decorations and window displays created by downtown businesses.
Abigail Noel, public relations and communications manager for Destination Bryan, said Downtown Bryan has instilled a variety of safety protocols to ensure maximum safety at the Stroll.
“We ask that people wear masks throughout the event and for everyone [to] be respectful of each other’s space,” Noel said. “We’re still trying to provide a safe, fun outdoor event so that people can enjoy a holiday event and get in the holiday spirit. The event being outside is a huge benefit because everyone will have plenty of room to space out. We will also have sanitization stations spread throughout the event and within the street closure areas where the parade floats will be parked.”
Downtown Bryan is moving forward with approved holiday activities to bring the community together in an equivocal time, Noel said.
“We're really excited to still have some holiday events,” Noel said. “All of the events in Downtown Bryan are getting approved by the health department and the mayor’s office, so we’ve gotten approval for our COVID-19 protocols and we’re able to move forward. It’s very safe for the community to be involved, as well as the float attendees and staff.”
In addition to the holiday floats and window displays, Destination Bryan is partnering with Bryan Broadcasting Radio Company to put on a holiday radio program for the event.
“The program will play on [KNDE] Radio station throughout the event,” Noel said. “It will broadcast holiday music, Christmas music and some special messages from Santa. People can listen to it while they’re strolling, and we’re highly encouraging our downtown businesses to play that station during that event as well.”
Noel said The Lighted Holiday Stroll has received a lot of positive feedback on social media, and many floats that typically partake in the traditional Christmas parade have already signed up for the Stroll.
“The community really likes the downtown parade because it's at night, all the floats are decorated in lights and it feels very holiday themed,” Noel said. “All the Christmas lights and the big Christmas tree is up downtown, and all the buildings are beautifully lit. We’re excited to still bring that festive theme and energy [this year] even if things look a little bit different.”
According to the Downtown Bryan website, there will also be a showing of The Palace Theater’s 2019 recording of “The Nutcracker” at 6 p.m., including preeminent dancers from the New York City ballet.
Katelyn Brown, the community engagement manager at Destination Bryan tourism, said though the event is a twist on the traditional parade, it is still a great opportunity to come downtown.
“We’ve got some really fun groups participating [in the parade],” Brown said. “I think it’s going to be a great time. As an outdoor event there’s plenty of opportunities to socially distance and still get to enjoy the holiday season in downtown.”