Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas will be smaller but still festive amid COVID-19

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NEVADA CITY, Calif. (KTXL) — Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas events are a yearly tradition that people in this town look forward to all year long.

Even though it will look different this year, they’re hoping to still spread the same holiday cheer.

It’s Linda Hansen’s job to add a little sweetness to every Christmas season.

“It’s magical, absolutely magical: the weather is cold, all the lights are on all the buildings,” she said.

But this year, she worries her Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe won’t see the usual holiday surge of shoppers, since the Chamber of Commerce has to scale down its annual Victorian Christmas events due to pandemic.

“We do the best that we can and hope the we have a loyal customer base,” she said.

Victorian Christmas typically draws thousands of people downtown, five nights during December, closing down the streets for vendors and performances.

Shops usually make $20,000 to $30,000 dollars during these nights, according to Chamber of Commerce Board President Gretchen Bond.

“This was a huge event; I mean, the streets are packed,” Bond said. “And so with COVID, we can’t do that.”

But she’s determined to keep the holiday spirit alive: “This pandemic has been really hard on people; we really felt like it was important to do something.”

So they’ll still be hosting a smaller version of the celebration, decorating buildings and keeping shops open late until 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in December.

Businesses will offer 10% discounts to any shoppers dressed in Victorian or other festive gear on Wednesdays and Sundays, and Santa Claus will still make an appearance Sunday afternoons.

“I know that people look forward to it,” Bond said. “The community does. The town does.”

As for Hansen, she’s hopeful that this smaller event will still help bring a very merry Christmas to local business owners like her.

“When the going gets tough, people eat chocolate! It makes them happy; it makes me happy,” Hansen said.

The shops will be following COVID-19 guidelines, and many will also offer curbside pickup.

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