Christmas Walk and Parade days planned in Oswego

The annual downtown Oswego Christmas Walk parade will be delayed one day this year.

The village board approved temporarily closing Route 34 through the downtown for the parade on Saturday evening, Dec. 5.

"We're still on track with the Christmas Walk," Village President Troy Parlier told the board. "Hopefully, we can continue with this event, so far so good. The next days will tell."

In past years, the parade, which features Oswego Fire Protection District firetrucks, has been held Friday evenings, along with the bulk of Christmas Walk events.

Village Community Engagement Coordinator Julie Hoffman said that precautions for the parade include expanding the route to stretch through downtown Oswego beginning at the former Traughber Junior High School, the placement of chalk markings along the ground, strategically placed signs on barricades and similar measures.

Village officials announced earlier that this year's Christmas Walk events will be held Friday evening, Dec. 4, downtown, but the parade is planned for Dec. 5 because of the pandemic.

"In order to promote social distancing and extend the holiday cheer through the weekend, the [Christmas Walk] Silent Light Parade will take place on Saturday evening rather than during the Friday evening Christmas Walk festivities," a memo from Assistant Village Administrator Christina Burns reads. "As part of this event, the parade will require temporary closure of U.S. Highway 34 at Jefferson Street and Main Street."

The theme for this year's Christmas Walk, the village announced, is "A Stroll Along Main Street."

"The Oswego Christmas Walk will have plenty of cheer but will look different this year. We're working to bring you a safe but joyous event," reads a post on the village's Facebook page.

Visitors to the annual event can expect many of the same highlights, "a festival of sights, sounds and smells," but with COVID-19 precautions, including one-way foot traffic through downtown Oswego.

Additional precautions include the removal of high-touch point activities including bounce houses and a train that travels the length of Main Street. Highlights such as reindeer, ice carvings and main stage performances will be spread out across Main Street to encourage social distancing and "to keep patrons at a safe distance."

"Wear your mask and your jingle bells and take part in an Oswego tradition," the post reads.