BELMONT – This holiday season, the city of Belmont will combine its traditions of glow and glee with pandemic precautions to ensure visitors arrive healthy into the new year.
From its Christmas Tree Lighting to the rolling acres of a twinkling Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Belmont beckons guests from near and far to its southern streets just west of Charlotte. The festivities of years past unfold once again with safety and social distancing becoming paramount.
“The holiday season annually welcomes families to our city, known for its southern hospitality and small-town charm,” said Jim Hoffman, chair of the Belmont Tourism Development Authority. “We want to welcome people again this year, but also keep them as safe as possible as they celebrate in Belmont.”
At the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, the seasonal sparkle returns among blossoming cherry trees, the Piedmont Prairie and popular topiary displays at Holidays at the Garden. From Nov. 27 to Jan. 3, people will be able to experience a smaller, yet still shimmering show that includes the annual towering Orchid Tree, roaring fires for roasting marshmallows and food truck features. Advance tickets are required this year to allow for staggered and social-distanced entry. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no live entertainment; however, the garden will still delight guests of all ages with its shining spectacle.
In downtown Belmont, the holidays officially begin with the Christmas Tree Lighting on Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. This town tradition takes place in front of Belmont City Hall in historic downtown, inviting guests to peruse the Festival of Trees once the city is aglow. The third annual Festival of Trees returns in 2020 to Stowe Park. It features dozens of twinkling trees decorated by the local community. Guests at both events are asked to social distance and wear masks to keep themselves and others safe.
On Dec. 1, the parade tradition in Belmont gets a tiny twist to support a safe holiday season. Cruise Thru Christmas – Belmont Style will bring the best of the annual downtown parade to a health-minded pandemic environment. This year’s parade is a drive-thru event, encouraging families to decorate their cars and drive along the parade route to view spectacular, yet stationary floats and other entries. Attendees are asked to remain within their vehicles during this nontraditional parade.
“Christmastime is nothing short of magical in Belmont – a place where memory making and nostalgia are easily discovered by families every holiday season,” Hoffman said. “We’re decking the halls and we’re more than ready to welcome bright and smiling faces back to our streets, our garden pathways, our restaurants and our shops this year. Now, more than ever before, is a time to spread cheer, and we have plenty of festive cheer here in Belmont.”