Naples hosts Christmas on 5th with safety measures in place

The growing number of coronavirus cases didn’t stop people from celebrating the holidays. Health professionals handed out masks to visitors who decided to see the tree lighting in a downtown area in Southwest Florida.

The holiday spirit was alive and well during the 47th Annual Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony in downtown Naples Friday.

Most people we spoke to said they felt safe, especially because it was outdoors. Restaurants even took their tables outside to the streets to help with social distancing.

Those were among the many precautions NCH Health System and the City of Naples had along 5th Avenue.

“They’ve done a fabulous job over here,” Nancy Wry said. “We can get out and have the holiday spirit.”

Crowds showed up to dance, see Santa, and even ice skate.

NCH and the City partnered together to make sure all precautions were taken.

“We really want to tell people to socially distance, wear a mask and wash your hands, stay safe,” said Paul Hiltz, the president of NCH.

Hiltz was at the event helping pass out masks and set up hand sanitizer stations, helping many people feel comfortable so they could go out and enjoy.

Some thought the measures were extreme.

“I wouldn’t be worried if they weren’t handing out masks,” Kristian Tonnesen said. “I think Christ is more important than something with very low death rates.”

Everyone agreed it was nice to get out of the house and get in the holiday spirit.

Mayor Teresa Heitmann took the stage for the tree lighting. She wanted to remind people the city encourages everyone to wear masks.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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