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News >  Idaho

Coeur d’Alene holiday traditions take hits as the virus spreads

The Coeur d’Alene Resort is open for business in North Idaho, but the COVID-19 pandemic means it’s limiting its annual Christmas lights events this year.  (Coeur d'Alene Resort)
The Coeur d’Alene Resort is open for business in North Idaho, but the COVID-19 pandemic means it’s limiting its annual Christmas lights events this year. (Coeur d'Alene Resort)

Coeur d’Alene’s Christmas celebrations will be muted this year as new COVID-19 cases in Kootenai County continue to spike.

The Coeur d’Alene Resort – the number one holiday destination in the Inland Northwest, according to its news release – announced Wednesday it has canceled its yearly fireworks show and Holiday Lights Show, which comes with a lighting ceremony as the resort begins a season of glowing with Christmas decorations.

This year, the resort will still turn on its lights at 6 p.m. Nov. 27, but without a ceremony or fireworks.

“I think we definitely want to have a festive, fun holiday season. but we’re working closely with the Panhandle Health (District),” marketing director Amy VanSickle said.

The Panhandle Health District reported 96 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday with 43 people currently hospitalized. Kootenai County remains in the highest “red” category of risk , the district reports.

The USA Today ranked the decorations as one of 2019’s Top 10 best public light displays in the country. This year’s display includes 1.5 million lights and the world’s largest floating Christmas tree, according to the release.

The Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association did not immediately respond, but the association did not note its usual post-Thanksgiving holiday parade on its November events calendar online.

The resort and Hagadone Marine Group, which runs cruises with the resort, will be offering holiday experiences, the release said. The Journey to the North Pole cruises will still depart nightly from the Boardwalk at The Coeur d’Alene Resort with reduced guest numbers and temperature checks before boarding.

The inside of the resort has undegone a Christmas overhaul, though, as the resort team has “decked the halls with over 10,000 pounds of decorations,” according to another release. The overhauled holiday decorations include two 9-foot nutcrackers, VanSickle said.

“They’re going to have to crane it up at the end of the week,” she said.

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