Marilyn Hagerty: Coronavirus changes some traditions, but some stay the same

Marilyn Hagerty

Dear Dave McFarlane,

It’s good to know you and Kathy are settled into your Florida home and taking all the precautions to avoid the plague of coronavirus. This is a holiday season unlike any we have seen.

Some winter travelers -- snow birds -- are staying home this winter. Others are long gone. Mostly to Florida and Arizona, maybe Southern California. But there are so many uncertainties as we come upon the first day of December.

Trees galore

One thing is for sure, though: We will keep Christmas. The trees are going up outside around here. Inside too! And Lincoln Park is decorated to the hilt – all ready for evening drive-throughs. Wayne Zink is the overall chair, with Clair Zirnhelt doing a lot of organizing for the winter wonderland.

New this year is a dump truck display by Opp Construction.


Christmas in the Park costs $6 for cars to drive through. It’s $10 for a limousine and $20 for a bus. Proceeds go to charity.

On the busiest nights, they say 260 to 300 cars go through. This is the 19th year for Christmas in the Park. This year it is in honor of the late Dick Compton, a Lion who was instrumental in getting the event started.

Wait to skate

In these times, it is a challenge to be as jolly as the elves in days of yore. But the Grand Forks Park District still is able to offer programs for fall and winter that are adaptable to social programming.

The weather around here in November was beautiful. And today we head into December.

The people at the Grand Forks Park District say they have no clue on when they will flood the 10 skating parks around the city. The measure seems to be a week of below freezing temperatures before flooding.

Yes, these are strange times. But I send my greetings to you people in Florida.

Your friend, Marilyn on Cottonwood Street in Grand Forks.

P.S. It was sort of sad to start the Advent Season leading up to Christmas without the Thursday Music Club ushering it in. They traditionally have featured the finest musicians of Grand Forks. There will be so many challenges with Christmas plans. But I am sure people are determined: We will keep Christmas.

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