Editor's note: This event is still planned to be held, but it will be virtual in nature due to state orders on Wednesday limiting outdoor gatherings based on COVID-19 guidelines. More information will be coming soon. 

Lifting up spirits after a difficult year is one of the goals of the Downtown Lakeville Holiday Lighting Ceremony, which is planned for Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in Pioneer Plaza, featuring Lakeville North High School’s Now & Then Singers.

The ceremony was started by the Downtown Lakeville Business Association many years ago to bring the community together, and Lakeville-based Metro Equity Management starting organizing the event a couple of years ago.

“We love the feeling it brings to so many to kick off the holidays in our downtown,” said Steph Scherer, a broker with Metro Equity, which owns several downtown properties. “Bringing elected officials, business owners, involved community members, high school singers and their families and local residents together to spark that holiday spirit has been a very fun tradition. I think it’s even more important this year to safely bring that holiday spirit to downtown Lakeville as we have all had a hard year – businesses, residents, community members.”

She said that when the musical group was asked, the Now & Then Singers enthusiastically agreed to participate in the event.

“We think that having a safe, outdoor and socially distant event like this shows that we are still all a part of a wonderful community and even if this year has been hard and most events and gatherings have been and continue to be canceled, we are all in this together,” she said.

Scherer said the event in past years has not only focused on spreading good cheer, but also promoting local businesses. An event like this is a “win-win,” Scherer said, because it accomplishes both of these goals.

Downtown Lakeville businesses are working hard to comply with orders given by the state of Minnesota in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, but it’s getting harder.

With additional restrictions announced in recent days, people are encouraged now more than ever to use the alternate ways to support businesses, such as ordering take-out, shopping online, buying gift cards and ordering items ahead of time to pick up at stores.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about getting the community into downtown Lakeville to see and patronize local businesses,” Scherer said. “We are always hoping that the community chooses to support local.”

Downtown Lakeville has several food, service and shopping options that are detailed at the DLBA website, downtownlakeville.com.

“We’re hoping that everyone who attends is able to safely enjoy live holiday music performed by the Lakeville North Now & Then Singers, the twinkling holiday lights that will now line the streets of our downtown, feel a sense of community and ignite that holiday spirit,” Scherer said.

Tad Johnson can be reached at tad.johnson@apgecm.com.

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