DEARBORN HEIGHTS — With the annual tree lighting ceremony being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dearborn Heights Parks and Recreation Department has gotten creative in how to bring holiday cheer to the community.
Having close ties with the North Pole, Parks and Recreation Director Brian Haddad was able to pull some strings for local children.
“We will be hosting a ‘Zoom with Santa’ this year,” he said. “Santa will have one-on-one Zoom meetings with each child that signs up for a five minute time slot.”
The event is scheduled for Dec. 15 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
“With the pandemic, we don’t foresee many mall Santas being out and about this year,” Haddad said. “And I just want to put smiles on faces, especially right now.”
Each child who signs up for a time slot will receive a follow up letter and small gift from Santa.
“If need be, we may schedule additional time slots depending on the amount of children that sign up,” he said. “We are trying to think of new and different things for the holidays and I won’t say no to the kids.”
In addition to the Zoom with Santa, Haddad’s department is also hosting a holiday lights contest for homes in Dearborn Heights to participate in and there is a Santa mailbox outside of City Hall for children to submit letters to Santa.
“We partnered with English Gardens for the contest,” Haddad said. “It’s a really good way to get in the holiday spirit. The letters to Santa do get responded to and small gifts do get attached to the return letters to children.”
More information on these events can be found at //www.ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us/departments/parks_and_recreation.