By Alecia Reid

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the holidays just around the corner, Philadelphia officials are rethinking traditions because of the pandemic. This is a year where everything has changed because of the pandemic. However, city organizers are trying to keep some of the normal holiday traditions alive by sprinkling in a bit of extra safety.

As we welcome the holiday season, the city’s Christmas tree will be delivered and installed on the north side of City Hall Friday evening.

“We’re so excited. We love Christmas,” Chicago resident Camille said.

The area has been prepped for when the flatbed truck arrives. The tree will be decorated and come December, the annual tree lighting ceremony will take place.

“As long as people are respectful it’s good to get in the spirit of things,” Florida resident Rachel said.

Although excitement is building, overcrowding is a concern.

“I would at least come and see how the crowd is. If it’s small enough I think we’d stay for a drink or two,” Camille said.

Speaking of drinks, the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market at Dilworth Park will look a lot different when it opens next weekend.

There will be some of the same local vendors from the tri-state area, but about half of what families are used to seeing.

“We wanted to make sure it’s a safe environment for everyone that comes to the market and that’s why we decided to have less vendors than the last couple years,” said Tobias Fischer with the Christmas Village.

Preparations for this year’s Christmas Village in Love Park are already underway, featuring increased distance between stalls for safety, in addition to a mask requirement for all guests.

Even with the new additions, expect a variety of goodies.

“Arts and crafts and food from all over the world, especially Europe, like we have it in Germany,” Fischer said.

To further cut back on crowds, there won’t be any entertainment at this year’s Christmas Village.


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