PRINCETON — Gibson County Visitors & Tourism Bureau will be looking at alternative forms to spread Christmas cheer this December.

The board agreed Thursday morning, in light of increasing COVID-19 cases locally, to cancel this year’s Princeton Christmas parade — then started discussing alternative ideas of what to do around the holiday.

The tourism office will have a mailbox set up for letters to Santa, and director Eric Heidenreich said he hopes that will be up next week.

Local kids can drop off letters by Dec. 15 to receive a response from Santa.

Heidenreich said it will offer a nice photo spot for families dropping off letters.

He also hopes to plan Santa visits around the county, traveling around different communities to be able to wave from the roadway. “We’re told that Santa wants to come and visit the community in December,” he said.

The public is also encouraged to take part in a Christmas cruise from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.

Community members will be encouraged to decorate their vehicles and travel around the county to take in light displays.

Heidenreich said they are fairly confident they will hold a decoration competition in conjunction with the cruise. Applications for participants will be due by Dec. 8, judging on Dec. 10 and winners announced Dec. 11 in preparation for the cruise Saturday.

The application will be available on Facebook and website once it has been compiled.

Candy Yancey, owner and operator of R’z in Fort Branch, said during the meeting Thursday that being able to pivot when needed for events is what people will remember.

“This is where the magic happens,” she said. “This is where the excitement builds.”

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