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How COVID-19 impacts ‘Christmas on Broadway’

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Every year, Christmas on Broadway goes on effortlessly, with the exception of some strong winds that felled the famed spruce in 2019.

But this year, organizers are doing everything they can to make sure the holiday tradition continues.

“We want to have as many people enjoy the sights and sounds and lights as Christmas has as possible this year and have a spirit of looking forward to 2021," Organizer Steve Shine said.

Plan A was business as usual.

Plan B was to allow crowds to line Broadway to watch the tree lighting and fireworks from a distance.

But with the pandemic only getting worse, more changes had to be made.

“And then we went to a Plan C, which was to ask people for the sake of their own safety and comfort to watch the event on ABC21 televised," Shine said.

Though some differences were made out of necessity, the show should look the same to those of you watching from home.

“In essence, Santa and Mrs. Clause are waving to people who are watching on television, and they will then arrive just before 6 o’clock at which time they will join the Riley Children’s Hospital Miracle child to light the tree and signal the start of the fireworks," Shine said.

A special girl has the honor of kicking off Christmas for the community near the Broadway Plaza.

“If anyone typifies the spirit of hope and looking to better things in the future is Maddie Dean. She was born with an autoimmune deficiency disease and she has struggled with that her entire life," Shine said.

You can watch Christmas on Broadway live on ABC21 or on our website here starting at 5 p.m.

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