Bethany Beach to host Holiday Happenings, tree lighting (copy)

There will be no horse-drawn wagon rides (pictured here in a past year), trolley rides or visits with Santa at Bethany Beach Town Hall this holiday season, with safety measures causing the cancelation of Holiday Happenings and the annual tree-lighting event on the bandstand. The town will still be decorated for the season, and donations can be made near the tree.

The Town of Bethany Beach announced on Nov. 17 that it was canceling its 2020 Holiday Happenings, due to COVID-19. The event, which annually takes place the first Saturday in December, typically includes a party with Santa and other seasonal attractions, including horse-drawn wagon rides, trolley rides through town and beach tractor rides.

“This event draws hundreds of people throughout the day, especially young children with their grandparents,” said Events Director Julie Malewski. “As much as we love to see families making special memories together, the pandemic could spread a lot more than good cheer.”

Social-distancing and mask requirements are still in effect in Bethany, as per Delaware’s Phase 2 mandates.

Malweski said the town will still be festively decorated, and the holiday tree on the bandstand plaza will be lit, but there will be no official gatherings.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, she said, there will also still be a food and clothing drive. People are being encouraged to bring hats, gloves, scarves and canned goods to be donated to local charities. There will be bins near the tree at the bandstand for collection of the donated items.

Many Bethany-area businesses will also be open and offering special incentives on the three Saturdays leading up to Christmas: Dec. 5, 12 and 19.