DMI gets ready for Milford’s holiday season

Downtown Milford Inc.’s holiday plans, including modified Santa visits, are coming together for 2020. (Submitted photo)

MILFORD — City residents should get ready to stuff their stockings and deck their halls, as Downtown Milford Inc. has announced its plans for the 2020 holiday season.

But given the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s approach to holiday traditions will be different this year.

“In an effort to prevent overcrowding, events have been modified, reduced and in some cases cancelled,” said a statement from DMI last week.

Instead of the traditional Holiday Stroll, on Dec. 4, DMI will host an outdoor Christmas Market, featuring artisan vendors from 5-8 p.m. on South Walnut Street’s Riverwalk Farmers Market site.

“With our Holiday Stroll that we normally have, we wouldn’t be able to follow the guidelines the state has set for us,” said Cat Perfetti, DMI’s interim director. “We wouldn’t be able to control the crowds.”

She said the safety guidelines will be similar to those that have been in place at the farmers market.

“It’s regulated. You have to wear a mask, and only so many people will be allowed in (at one time),” Ms. Perfetti said. “You’ll have to do the hand sanitizer on the way in and on the way out.”

Vendors interested in having a booth at the event can apply at bit.ly/DMIXmasMarket. The cost is $35. Due to COVID-19, these applications will be handled on a first come, first served basis.

Downtown businesses will also be open late for holiday shopping that night.

Santa will still be coming to Milford this year, but he’ll be taking a different approach to meeting with the city’s children.

“Santa will not be in the Santa House this year,” Ms. Perfetti said. “He will be in the drive-thru window at the Milford Customer Service Center, which is at 119 S. Walnut St. You will be able to drive through and still see Santa, but safely.”

Santa will be available on Fridays between 5-8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 28 to Dec. 20.

According to the DMI press release, there will be two separate drive-thru lines: “One will enter on SE 2nd Street and Pearl Alley behind the Milford Museum (and) the other will enter on SE Front Street and Pearl Alley behind the First Presbyterian Church.”

Visits with Santa are free, but donations are always welcome.

In lieu of his traditional grand entrance on Walnut Street, Santa will be making some spontaneous roadside appearances around town. Hints for additional dates and events can be found on Facebook at the “Santa’s House, Downtown Milford, De” page.

Santa’s House at 1 S. Walnut St. will still be decorated this year. Those stopping by will be able to peek into the building from Thanksgiving until Christmas.

Again this year, DMI will also be selling wreaths to fund plantings that will adorn downtown Milford’s streets in the spring.

“All orders will be placed online and then shipped directly to the customer,” Ms. Perfetti said. “That way, there’s no interaction.”

Orders will be accepted until Nov. 13 and can be placed at bit.ly/3mrRvwn.

Those who are interested in donating or have questions can reach Ms. Perfetti at 839-1180 or director@downtownmilford.org.