GALION — The annual community Christmas celebration in Galion might look a bit different this year, but one thing remains the same: the tradition of lighting the tree on the Square at the junction of Market Street and Harding Way.
Due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the annual Come Home to Galion events have been canceled for 2020, but the community tree-lighting ceremony will go on, albeit with some changes from previous years.
The Galion Area Ministerial Association (GAMA) is conducting the ceremony this year, according to Rev. Heather Runser McLeod of Galion Christ United Methodist Church. It’s scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.
“The Galion Area Ministerial Association is proud to present the Come Home to Galion tree lighting this year,” McLeod said. “It is fitting that we do so, because we’re the ones that started it in the first place.”
The ceremony will be live streamed on the Galion Area Ministerial Association Facebook page and will be recorded and sent to WMFD-TV to be shown on that media outlet. Residents are being asked to watch the event online instead of gathering at the Square.
McLeod said the tree-lighting ceremony will be conducted by three local ministers and will include the singing of Christmas carols, the recitation of the Christmas story, and the lighting of the tree. McLeod, Rev. Ash Welch of St. Paul United Methodist Church, and Rev. Joshua Cole of Tabernacle of Praise will officiate the ceremony.
Come Home to Galion officials announced their decision to cancel activities for 2020 via the group’s Facebook page on Nov. 2.
“The Come Home to Galion committee is sad to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Come Home to Galion celebration,” the post on the Facebook page read. “After numerous conversations with local health officials, we determined that we were unable to safely hold this event. We hope to see you next year on Dec. 4, 2021.”
Follow @AndrewACCarter on Twitter.