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Crocker Park will host its annual tree lighting ceremony virtually this year due to the pandemic.

WESTLAKE

We all know holiday celebrations will be a little different this year. That includes the popular Crocker Park shopping center tree lighting ceremony, which will be virtual.

Crocker Park’s festivities begin at 6 p.m. Friday Nov. 20 with its 16th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The 2020 ceremony is going virtual on Facebook Live. Go to Facebook @CrockerPark.

Santa will arrive around dusk and will light a 50-foot-tall holiday tree with special choreographed dancing and music. Viewers can register to win a $500 Crocker Park gift card. Follow #CrockerPark for details. The lighting ceremony will stay on Crocker Park’s Facebook page through the holiday season.

Because of the pandemic, Crocker Park intends to film the ceremony at a confidential location, eliminating any possibility of people gathering to watch in person, according to Lisa Roberts, Crocker Park vice president of operations.

Crocker Park’s tree sits at the upscale shopping mall’s Center Circle, 189 Crocker Park Blvd.

Choreographed light and music shows will be set off on the tree live nightly beginning at dusk through Christmas Eve.

Roberts said that in past years, large crowds never have gathered around the tree during the light shows, which center officials believe eliminates worries about social distancing around the tree.

Santa’s Village, next to Bath & Body Works, opens at noon Sunday and runs through Dec. 24. It will include Santa’s House. Also, a Holiday Express Train runs noon to 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Look for the Tree Garden and vote for your favorite tree on Facebook @CrockerPark.

During Santa Village hours, children can visit with Santa at his house but will not be able to sit on his lap. St. Nick and visitors will sit in chairs set up with appropriate social distancing in mind.

Crocker Park’s CLE Market with 100-plus vendors opens at 11 a.m. Thursdays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 21-24. A Sugar Plum children’s shop allows little ones to buy gifts for their families.

Other market attractions include Santa’s Sleigh, Toy Train Town and a shop featuring customizable gifts. CLE market will sit across from East Park beside The Cheesecake Factory.

The annual tradition of an ice rink near the Regal Cinemas will continue. It is open through Feb. 28. Cost is $8 per person, with $3 skate rentals available. Hours are 4-10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The rink is closed Christmas Day.

More attractions include a 13-foot ornament perfect for holiday selfies. Merry Meals are available Nov. 21 to Dec. 24. at center kiosks.

Masks are required at all Crocker Park events and inside all stores.

Contact this reporter at tcorrigan@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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