It just meant a different approach.
“We asked can we create an environment downtown we can sustain from Thanksgiving to the first week in January,” Schutte said.
John Kelly, Visit Greater Springfield’s downtown events coordinator, said the long-term challenge was how to change the events and programming under the Holiday in the City brand. This led to the new plan, one which still encourages people to visit downtown without the crowd of 25,000 Holiday in the City draws on one day.
Schutte consulted with the Clark County Combined Health District for best measures to not put people at risk.
Now visitors can find a nightly winter wonderland on the downtown core block on the esplanade, starting with a sound system on top of City Hall playing holiday music from 5-9 p.m. daily, while the new lights will make the scope larger.
Scutte said it’s a great place for photo ops. He was pleased on Monday to find families and friends taking pictures despite the snow coming down rapidly, creating the desired response.
There will also be pop-up attractions such as projections and other surprises to give people reasons to revisit. It can also help promote downtown shopping and dining or taking advantage of the DORA program.
Visit Greater Springfield’s web page has a list of downtown merchants and restaurants and their hours of operation so visitors can shop and support local businesses and make a night out of it. Schutte also hopes it’s a destination for those visiting from out of town.
“We’re creating a family atmosphere downtown,” Kelly said.
Schutte added that plans are already being made for the return of Holiday in the City in 2021 and building the brand by involving other organizations and businesses past just that date and credits several local sponsors with helping fund the event.