RIO GRANDE — As winter draws closer and holiday cheer grows stronger, the Gallia County community is turning to creative ways to bring joy during troubling times.
Rio Ridge Venue, an events venue near the University of Rio Grande, is collaborating with Bob Evans Farms to host an event for families and children to still experience the joys of the holidays. The Dec. 13 event, which is free to the public, will be drive-through only and will feature a multitude of exciting stations.
“We decided to do a drive-through,” Patricia Filie, who works with Rio Ridge Venue and organizer of the event, said. “No one has to get out of the car.”
The event will feature various holiday favorites, including a Nativity with live animals, Santa Claus, who will arrive in a police car, a firetruck, Frosty the Snowman, elves, the Grinch, and live reindeer. The farm will also be decorated with lights, and treat bags will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, though Filie noted that many bags have already been prepared for the event.
Last year, Rio Ridge Venue organized a similar event, but because of COVID-19 health precautions, got creative for planning this year.
“Kids have lost so much stuff to do,” Filie said. “We called the health department and they said as long as its drive through and no one gets out of the car—that’s what we’re stressing.”
Christmas on the Ridge organizers hope to bring people together in a safe manner. Because everyone will remain in vehicles, people will not mingle with those outside of their households, and all workers, including children in the Nativity scene, will socially distance and wear masks.
Christmas on the Ridge was funded entirely by individual and community donations, and is free to the public.
The event will take place on December 13 and begins at 5 p.m. at Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande.
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Sharla Moody is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing from Gallipolis, Ohio. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and currently attends Yale University.