James Rada, Jr.
Emmitsburg’s annual Evening of Christmas Spirit had little spirit this year because of COVID-19.
About a dozen people were on hand for the lighting of the town Christmas tree in front of the Emmitsburg Community Center on the evening of December 7, 2020. Christmas music played during the brief event that usually draws a crowd and has local students singing carols.
Mayor Don Briggs thanked the small group for coming out. He acknowledged the problems that COVID has caused this year, and said, “Sometimes you’ve got to go with what you can.”
Briggs asked Dacosta Wivell, 12 years old, and the only child at the event, to assist him with the countdown. Then the pair flipped the switch, and the lights came on.
In the past, “An Evening of Christmas Spirit” at the Carriage House Inn has followed the tree-lighting ceremony. The event typically draws hundreds of people both inside and outside of the restaurant who come to enjoy free food, music, crafts, hayrides, and Santa’s visit.
None of that happened in December. For the first time in 32 years, it was canceled. State restrictions on restaurants and gatherings because of the virus forced the closure.
Mayor Don Briggs and Dacosta Wivell congratulate each other after lighting the town’s Christmas tree.
Photo by James Rada, Jr.