After a five year run of illuminating Christmas wonder, Santa Claus Lane, also known as the “Clovis Festival of Lights at Ladera Ranch,” has decided to close down for good due to COVID-19.
The Christmas attraction has been around since 2015, and hosted by 34 participating homes. This closure raises questions for the community about the possible closures of other holiday events this year.
In a statement made by the organizers of Santa Claus Lane, they are taking this time to focus on their families and avoid anything that may place fellow neighbors at risk.
Not only has this community at Ladera Ranch been affected by COVID-19, but other local businesses and events as well.
The Clovis Veterans Memorial District, known for hosting numerous events throughout the year, has closed their facility since the shutdown began in March.
“In Clovis, our traditions are what make us,” says Jale Wesley, a Marketing Associate for the Clovis Veteran’s Memorial District. “Safety is paramount and one of the values of our community.”
During the holiday season, the Clovis Veterans Memorial District hosts their “Here Comes Santa Claus” event, which brings hundreds of families together for a night of food, games, entertainment, and even a chance to take a photo with Santa.
“We may have to change the way we come together,” said Wesley. “But, we will come together nonetheless to celebrate what makes our community so great.”
Clovis Business Development Manager, Shawn Miller, says that it’s been a difficult year for local community events being cancelled or postponed.
“We are hopeful that in the months to come that health conditions will allow for a return of parades, street festivals and other events, which Clovis is so well known for throughout the region,” said Miller.
Carole Lester, Executive Director of the Business Organization of Old Town Clovis (BOOT), said they will not be hosting any more events throughout the rest of 2020 but hope to be able to still have their horse drawn-carriage rides during the holidays.
“The only thing still up in the air, is the carriage rides for the holidays. We’re looking at ways of possibly doing that but we don’t have a definite answer yet,” said Lester.
Lester also sympathizes with local business owners who are suffering and hopes that things will clear up by the following year.
“The merchants are doing the best they can,” said Lester. “We still have shoppers coming into Old Town which is great… It’s been a hard several months.”
Since the reopening of bars, restaurants, salons and other businesses across the state in June, the number of cases in California have risen.
In Fresno County, there are 13,485 confirmed cases and 120 deaths in their latest data report on July 28. Clovis currently has 722 confirmed cases.