Johns Creek considers alternative events for fall and holiday seasons

A Johns Creek advisory committee has a short list of fall and holiday events that would be changed from previous years but still give residents an opportunity to enjoy the seasons. CITY OF JOHNS CREEK

A Johns Creek advisory committee has a short list of fall and holiday events that would be changed from previous years but still give residents an opportunity to enjoy the seasons. The coronavirus pandemic caused the city to cancel events at Newtown Park amphitheater such as outdoor summer movies and an October performance by the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra, a nonprofit performing arts organization, will have a Nov. 7 chamber concert with violinist Charles Yang and a Christmas concert with tenor Timothy Miller on Dec. 19. But several city festivities including Breakfast and Lunch with Santa will likely be canceled this year.

Recreation and Parks Manager Kirk Franz and the department’s advisory committee brainstormed alternative options Wednesday that will be presented to City Council Oct. 5 during a work session meeting.

Here are some events the committee has considered:

*An outdoor movie screened in the outfield at Newtown Park Nov. 7 in which attendees would be seated in designated seating pods and encouraged to wear masks. The usual pre-movie activities such as face-painting or games would not take place.

Franz suggested attendance be limited to 300-500 people and would cost the city $4,000.

The pandemic prevented an official event this year to honor the 250-foot-long half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Franz said. CITY OF JOHNS CREEK

*An open house celebration of Veterans Memorial Walk and “The Wall That Heals” Nov. 14. The pandemic prevented an official event this year to honor the 250-foot-long half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Franz said.

The open house from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. would allow space as attendees come and go in their own time frame. A video screen at a cost about $4,000 for rental would have commentary by veterans and others and would serve as a greeting to visitors, Franz added.

*Johns Creek’s annual Founders Day Parade was still scheduled for Dec. 5. Franz told committee members that half of the usual participants said they would not be involved this year. The parade would cost the city $35,000, he said.

The committee decided on a smaller parade that day with Santa riding in a fire truck to designated neighborhood sites such as school or shopping center parking lots where he would greet families and children in a socially distanced manner. Franz estimates the cost of the smaller parade would be about $500.

A Johns Creek advisory committee has a short list of fall and holiday events that would be changed from previous years but still give residents an opportunity to enjoy the seasons. Pictured, Santa Claus waves to the crowd during the 92nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Credit: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

Credit: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

*On Dec. 12, a virtual call with Santa is suggested which would replace the traditional breakfast and lunch event where children share their wish list of gifts. There would be a fee to attend and Santa would call up to 12 children per hour.

The traditional tree lighting and dreidel display with Santa and live reindeer usually draws 1,000 people, the Recreation and Parks manager said. He advises a virtual alternative to that event as well on Dec. 2.

The committee discussed a goodie bag of gifts that parents could pick-up from the city before the day of Santa’s call. A means for children to write letters to Santa, some of which could be answered by City Council members was also suggested.

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