By Mike Hazlip—
Adapting to unusual times amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Citrus Heights Police Department on Thursday collaborated with City Hall to create a drive-thru “Miracle on Fountain Square” event for residents to enjoy.
The event began with a virtual tree lighting, led by outgoing Mayor Jeff Slowey who officially retired from 17 years on the City Council later the same evening.
Watch tree lighting video: click here
Event attendees donated food items as they drove through a maze of lights and police vehicles. Workers set up cones to direct traffic around City Hall and back out onto Fountain Square drive.
Santa was present at City Hall, and visitors could stop their vehicle at a designated spot to have a photograph taken with the city’s decorated tree and fountain in the background.
Vehicles were then directed to enter the Police Department parking lot after exiting from City Hall. Police vehicles were each decorated by different units within the department.
Citrus Heights Police Lt. Kris Frey said he estimated more than 250 vehicles came through the event, with about 800 to 1,000 people participating.
City spokeswoman Nichole Baxter said organizers were unsure what to expect with the drive-thru format, compared with the city’s typical in-person tree lighting ceremony. She called the response “really great” and said people were observing social distancing guidelines.
The city is also hosting a “Best Lights in Citrus Heights” competition this year, to highlight the top outdoor displays of Christmas lights in the city.
“We know locally stores are selling out of holiday lights, so we know there are some awesome displays in Citrus Heights and we want to get those homes nominated,” Baxter said.
Related: City’s ‘Best Lights in Citrus Heights’ contest returns for 2020 season