Annual lighting at Washington Park to go virtual

City of Brownsville Parks and Recreation employees decorate Washington Park in Brownsville Wednesday morning. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

The Lighting of Washington Park will take place Dec. 3 at Washington Park, but will be held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brownsville city employees were seen Wednesday decorating the park with lights and giant candy canes.

The Brownsville Parks and Recreation Department is working on the virtual event that will also include fireworks.

Cameras will be set up not only at Washington Park, but Linear Park and Historic Market Square. Santa Claus will turn on the lights for the first time at all three locations, city officials said.

The livestream will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the virtual program featuring local talent as in years past. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. Officials said the event is still being planned and that more information will be released soon.

The Lighting of Washington Park isn’t the first event to take place virtually this holiday season, the annual Holiday Village Display at Dean Porter Park will also be virtual.

Holiday Village organizers made their decision in August and stated “Under the advisement of city officials, and with heavy hearts, the Executive Board of the Holiday Village will not move forward with our traditional festivities in Dean Porter Park for the 2020 season. We feel it would be imprudent and nearly impossible to responsibly socially distance approximately 1,000 visitors per night,” Jeanne Hughston, with Holiday Village, stated in a press release.

This year’s virtual Holiday Village will take place Nov. 23-Jan. 1. It will include 31 cottages for you to explore. There will also be coloring pages, games and other activities.