Kettering Holiday at Home festival will return Labor Day weekend

Holiday at Home in Kettering was last held in 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. FILE

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Holiday at Home in Kettering was last held in 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. FILE

Holiday at Home plans are moving forward to have the Labor Day festival in Kettering.

The two-day event that traditionally attracts more than 100,000 people had been held annually since 1959 before being called off last year due to the coronavirus.

Organizers are working on safety protocols and other COVID-related measures, but are encouraged by the recent trend of decreasing Ohio cases and the growing availability of vaccines, HAH President Carrie Kihn said.

“We’re just really excited. I think it’s time for our community to have something to look forward to,” Kihn said Monday.

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“It’s time for our community to be able to visit in a safe way and reconnect. And we’re just really anxious to provide an outdoor venue for that and excited to get things together for our hometown.”

The event set for Sept. 5-6 might have some tweaks based on public health guidelines, she said. But plans call for the parade to be held and other activities to occur at the Lincoln Park Civic Commons and the Kettering Government Center near the Fraze Pavilion.

“Parade seating might look a little different,” Kihn said.

There also may be some changes in children’s activities and how booths are configured, she said.

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Organizers are planning to “go with many of the things that people are used to … but how it looks may change a little bit,” she added.

“We’re going to have to spread out our vendors … So the amount of park that’s used may change a little bit,” Kihn said. “How we divide those areas out may look just a little different — with some adaptions.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine earlier this month said all COVID-19 health orders will be lifted when the state’s cases drop to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks. Last week the Ohio daily average was 144 per 100,000 population, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

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As of Monday, all Ohioans ages 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

As the weeks and months progress, HAH organizers will reassess protocols and hope to have them in place by July 1, Kihn said.

“Our numbers are looking good and things are opening up and changing every day,” she said. “With the vaccine being able to go to just about anybody right now, we’re hoping by September things will be” better.

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