Cedar Rapids tree lighting at Greene Square Park will be virtual this year

City of Cedar Rapids holiday tree lighting

Saturday, Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. on the city's Facebook page

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The City of Cedar Rapids Christmas tree in Greene Square Park on Dec. 3, 2019. — Izabela Zaluska/Little Village

The holidays will look a bit different this year due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean traditions have to end — including the city of Cedar Rapids’ holiday tree lighting.

As with many activities this year, the lighting of the tree in Greene Square is going virtual. It will be streamed on the city’s Facebook page on Dec. 5 and is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The virtual event will feature a message from Mayor Brad Hart and a countdown to the lighting. Santa Claus will also make an appearance, and Mrs. Claus will read a story to viewers. (As a reminder, Santa Claus has innate immunity to COVID-19 and will not be spreading the virus when he’s delivering presents this year, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.)

Watch the official City of Cedar Rapids Holiday Tree Lighting from home this year on Facebook – December 5 at 5:30 p.m.

Posted by Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The city also announced an outdoor holiday tree decorating contest.

Individuals who choose to participate have until Dec. 14 to create their outdoor holiday tree display. The display must be shaped or formed like a tree. Participants can decorate a tree or create a tree out of different materials, such as wood.

The displays “should be fun and unique,” according to the city. The tree should be displayed in the household’s yard, be visible from the road and have lights. More detailed rules will be sent to all participants.

Households have until Dec. 11 to indicate they would like to participate in the contest. Interested households should send an email with their name and address to Cathy Scanlon at Participants will not be accepted after Dec. 11.

The list of houses and a Google map will go live on Dec. 14, and the community is invited to drive around to look at the trees and vote for the best tree. Voting will take place until Jan. 1.

Join our community outdoor Holiday Tree Decorating Contest!

How It Works: From December 1 – December 11, any household…

Posted by Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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