december nights

City Plans to ‘Reimagine' December Nights for the COVID Era

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the city of San Diego is exploring ways to continue its popular December Nights holiday festival in Balboa Park this year, albeit in an altered form.

"December Nights is not being canceled -- it’s being reimagined to ensure the spirit of this long-standing holiday celebration carries on safely as San Diego continues to tackle COVID-19," a statement released by the city reads in part.

The hope is to preserve the tradition in some way while maintaining state and county safety guidelines designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 -- but that will be no small trick. December Nights typically draws 350,000 people over the two days and nights of one weekend early in the month, and is spread out across the park, including at participating museums and heavily attended performances by local singing groups at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion, as well as at dozens of International Cottages, where local foods are served and prepared.

Holiday Lights Spectacular at December Nights

Ideas are being floated about possibly including a drive-through Taste of December Nights food fair, and, perhaps, drive-in holiday movies, and the park's museums are scrutinizing ideas that would permit them to have guests inside their facilities. While San Diego County was able to move off the state's watch list this week, it still hasn't received protocols from the state regarding indoor attendance at museums.

Many of San Diego County's large-scale events like December Nights -- professional and college sports, the Wonderfront Music Festival and the annual fireworks displays -- have, of course, been canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

City officials are still trying to figure out how to safely implement any of their ideas.

"We'll be making further announcements when plans are finalized in the next couple of months," the city's news release stated.

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