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Christmas Storybook Land cancels drive-throughs

Christmas Storybook Land cancels drive-throughs

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Christmas Storybook Land's Santa and Mrs. Claus wave at motorists during the reverse parade held at the Mid-Willamette Family YMCA on Veterans Day. 

It’s been a rough year for the always popular Christmas Storybook Land, the annual Albany holiday celebration that attracted more than 37,000 visitors in 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused organizers to cancel the colorful display at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center and plan a drive-through event in its place.

Now that, too, has been cancelled due to the two-week “freeze” imposed by Gov. Kate Brown.

Volunteers had hoped to host drive-throughs on Dec. 5, 6, 12 and 13.

“Although the freeze is scheduled to end on Dec. 2, there isn’t enough time to set up the displays at the fairgrounds and future restrictions made after Dec. 2 are unknown,” said Carol Wood, the event president, in a prepared statement.

In addition to providing community members of all ages with a holiday treat of whimsical displays and lights, Christmas Storybook Land also generated tons of food donations annually for Fish of Albany.

In light of the event’s cancellation, local businesses are partnering with Christmas Storybook Land by placing donation containers in their buildings.

Participating groups will include: Albany Historic Carousel, Albany Visitors Center, Brick Circuit Lego Store, Calapooia Brewing Co., Country Financial, First American Title, Grocery Outlet-Albany, La Belle Boutique, Linn-Co Federal Credit Union, Margin Coffee, Mid-Willamette Family YMCA, Movement Mortgage, North Albany IGA, Sid Stevens Jewelers, Sniffany’s Pet Boutique, Sybaris Bistro, Washington Federal Bank and Wheeler Dealer.

More than 500 volunteers helped put on the 2019 event, which featured 120 scenes.

The Christmas Storybook Land scavenger hunt will continue through Nov. 27. Six scenes from the Fair & Expo Center show have been set up in downtown businesses.

People are invited to take selfie photos and post them to the Christmas Storybook Land Facebook page. The names of people who post photos from all six sites will be entered in a prize drawing in early December.

Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.

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