COVID-19 Changing Holiday Plans for Families in Stevens Point

Isa Mahon

In Stevens Point, one of the most popular events in the holiday season is the town’s holiday parade. The Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced that this parade filled with music, dancing, candy, fire trucks, and a grand finale with Santa Clause himself will all sadly not be part of Stevens Point holiday celebrations this year.  

With community events on pause and large gatherings prohibited, this year the celebrations will be focused on smaller family gatherings. Griffin Slowinski, a Junior at SPASH stated that “My family won’t be able to get together because of all of this going around”. He later noted that although he can’t see his extended family because of large group restrictions, he’s only able to spend this holiday season with only his immediate family. Family gatherings don’t have to be cancelled, but just cut back to immediate family. 

Traveling poses a higher risk during this time and with many families choosing to travel during the holidays or have family traveling to them, many will possibly reconsider their normal holiday traveling ordeal. Many of this traveling is also happening over longer distances. The question many people are speculating is if it is still safe to fly. April Fulton, a NPR reporter stated in an interview “planes are pretty safe …It’s actually more risky to be at the airport, especially if it’s crowded. If it all seems like too much work, remember, staying home is your safest bet.” Thus, flying and planes aren’t too risky themselves, but being in a crowded airport acts as a significant risk. Staying home overall seems to be the best option during this pandemic even though this may mean not seeing some greatly missed family members.

The streets lined with people watching the fire truck lights is something that won’t be seen here in Stevens Point this year. Image originally found from Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitor Bureau.

In the end, this whole pandemic has caused lots of things to shift into an offbeat pattern, dissimilar to  all the usual things we enjoy so much during this time of year . No more holiday parades or community events, no more large family gatherings, traveling with family, or the usual holiday parties. All of this makes this holiday season especially very unique and not necessarily in a favorable way. Keegan McKinley-Chapin, a SPASH student even cleverly stated “I’m probably going to get more cards in the mail this year”. Although this is a comical point, it really does show how different even the little things this holiday season will be. 

Though most families can still be together in smaller numbers, it is still a shame that so many things are different. Our normal holiday traditions whether with your annual family traditions or traditions in the community individuals annually attend, will have to be on hold until next year.