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CANDYLAND IS A GO (with minor modifications)

Christmas in Candyland 2020 is for sure going to happen this year, but with a few modifications including no Polar Bear slide and no skating rink.

Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce Director Chrissie Duffy said she is happy to announce that they are moving forward with Candyland 2020.

“In our original discussions, we wanted to keep our staff safe,” Duffy said. “So, we eliminated anything that involves our staff to visitor contact. By doing that, it keeps everybody safe, including the staff and the visitors. That means we are not doing the slide or the skating rink. I know that that is two of the major draws of the event, when you are actually there, they are actually a small part of a much larger event.”

Duffy said they don’t want to have anything that causes a group in a line.

“There won’t be any ticket sales, no slide, no skating rink, so there is no reason for people to amass,” Duffy said. “We want people to just spread out, walk around with their family and enjoy the event. It is going to be 50/50 on the train. We are hoping to spread everybody really far apart and have one family per car. Same with the horse and carriage, we are going to have that.”

One thing that Duffy made sure is possible is having the same opportunities, with a COVID twist.

“We are still going to have things like Santa pictures, with a socially distanced option if people want that,” Duffy said. “We will also do the same with the characters like Elsa from Frozen. We will have the circus performers again this year and the Christmas Spectacular. The stage is going to go where the slide usually is, so this will give us another opportunity to sort of spread things out. There are still some ideas that we have like light displays downtown to really give people reasons to walk around.”

As far as the cottages go, Duffy said they will be set up as soon as possible.

“We are going to have less cottages around the square, just to have more space in between them,” Duffy said. “We won’t have a new cottage this year, but we have 32 total playhouses.”

Going back to March before COVID, Duffy said she did not realize the severity of COVID-19.

“I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that when it first came around I did not realize the severity or permanence of it,” Duffy said. “I really don’t remember when the realization came in because all of those summer months really melted together. It was a process to get to that point of realizing the permanence of it. This event lends itself to the guidelines of keeping people safe in that it is outdoors and we are able to spread out across all of downtown. It’s not that much of a enclosed event.”

Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson said the health and safety of those who participate in Christmas in Candyland are of utmost importance to the City of Andalusia and the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce.

“At the present, we are moving forward with plans for Candyland in 2020,” Johnson said. “Candyland may be different from the last time you visited, but it will still be full of opportunities to create and capture magical holiday moments. We are taking enhanced health and safety measures based on guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the CDC, and will ask that guests help keep each other healthy by maintaining safe distancing from other guests. We are also continually monitoring the recommendations of health officials and may make additional changes prior to our planned opening on December 4.”

The grand opening of Candyland is set for December 4, and the full schedule is located on the Candyland website at https://christmasincandyland.com/schedule