PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — No large crowds, fewer vendors, social distancing reminders and hand sanitizing stations. While Philadelphia’s Christmas Village looks different this year, the feeling is still the same.
It’s definitely not the usual turnout you’d see at Christmas Village, but that’s a good thing now that we have to be extra cautious this holiday season.
With only half the number of vendors, there’s still lots to choose from.
“You need something to create a spirit of holiday, and that’s why I’m here. I’m bringing the ornaments,” said vendor Lucy Yolkina-Strak.
“We’re lucky that the City of Philadelphia has recognized the importance of the Christmas Village to the city,” said John Murray with the Irish Shop.
To keep things in order, vendors are located on the perimeter of Christmas Village, making it easy for those browsing.
“Hope to do as much business as we can,” said Brian Kauffman with Sockadelphia.
The new layout means visitors must enter at the designated entrance so organizers can keep a count of the number of people entering and exiting the village.
“It’s great to see Philadelphians come out and follow the rules. They wear their masks, they walk the one way,” Christmas Village Public Relations Manager Tobi Fischer said.
One thing folks will have to get used to is the idea of sitting while eating.
“I think with the Christmas music and chocolate pretzels and mulled wine, it’s definitely feeling like Christmas now,” said Sophia, a visitor from New York.
Because of COVID-19, there’s no more strolling while you eat.
“We just had a German hotdog,” Sophia said.
Sophia and her husband Jose will be loading up before heading out.
“I’m gonna get like maybe seven or eight of these as presents,” Sophia said.
Those wanting to find unique gifts while supporting small businesses can mosey on over through Christmas Eve.
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