By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – The year of 2020 will long be remembered for the coronavirus pandemic and devastating economic fallout, and only as the holiday season approaches is there more news to be cheery about. Delray Beach businesses are hoping that translates into much needed revenue to close out the year.
One local landmark that helps signal in the holidays is the 100 foot Christmas Tree which once again lights the downtown and warms hearts. It was lit on November 20th in the Old School Square, and will remain beaming until January 1, 2021.
“Our staff worked hard to come up with creative and festive alternatives, while keeping residents and visitors safe.” Sam Metott, Director of Delray Beach Parks and Recreation said as he explained the lack of the tree lighting event and parade this year.
He added however, “We look forward to bringing our community some much needed cheer and hopefully returning to our traditional, and much-loved, special events in the 2021 season.”
For 26 years, Delray Beach residents and visitors alike have enjoyed the famous 100 Ft Christmas Tree. In 2016 it was named by Travel & Leisure the best Tree in the state of Florida, helping bring more holiday business to the community.
Another draw is the “Very Merry Mondays” organized by the Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Throughout the holidays, every Monday from 4-7PM, Downtown Merchants and the DDA celebrate the season in a different neighborhood.
They welcome guests to bring a toy for the Delray Beach Toy Drive and in exchange will receive Secret Santa tickets for a chance to win some goodies to Downtown Delray.
The Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Stephanie Immelman, said, “I want to keep the pressure up on the community to shop local this year for the Holidays. It’s more important than ever as we all know.”
Adding, “Also we must all continue to wear masks at all times to help our neighbors get this medical crisis under control. Until we do that, businesses cannot bounce back.”
In terms of the new year, she said, “I am very positive about the outlook for the new year because there is a lot of pent up demand. The Chamber will have an All Member meeting on January 26th at 9AM via Zoom. The topic is the Economic Outlook for 2021.”