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Events Hope To Bring Holiday Cheer To Downtown Cincinnati During COVID

fountain square holiday
Courtesy of WCPO
Fireworks, Santa, ice skating and a brand new 58-foot Christmas tree announce the arrival of a prior holiday season in Cincinnati.

COVID-19 precautions mean people will have to find new ways to safely celebrate this holiday season, but the virus doesn't have to be a total Grinch for Cincinnatians. Some traditions will continue - just in new ways - and a new monthlong celebration called FOUND will give people the chance to celebrate the city's history along with some of their favorite traditional wintertime festivities.

"What better way to do that than to bring Cincinnatians together through a series of installations and various kind of pieces of art spread out throughout all of Downtown so that people can experience the whole urban core — from The Banks all the way to Findlay Market," 3CDC Vice President Joe Rudemiller says.

Window displays called "The Windows of Wonder," trees decorated by and representing all 52 neighborhoods, and a citywide scavenger hunt that will land one lucky winner a $5,000 prize are just some of the big newcomers to Downtown.

The scavenger hunt will pay homage to the December founding of Losantiville, which later became Cincinnati. Clues will be released over a four-week period and whoever finds the "key to Losantiville" can claim the prize. 

Rudemiller says organizers hope this is the inaugural year for FOUND and that it will continue for many more to come.

"Spending time Downtown has really long been a holiday tradition for so many Cincinnatians. At Fountain Square people come down to see the tree lighting and do ice skating and come see these shops," Rudemiller says. "It's something that's been going on for a long time. Things are going to be a little bit different this year, but we hope that FOUND gives people the opportunity to create new memories."

Festivities kick of Nov. 27 and last until Dec. 24. More information will be posted in the coming weeks at FoundCincinnati.com.

Fountain Square Festivities

Earlier this month, the Fountain Square ice rink opened, and the Macy's holiday tree arrived. The 65-foot Norway Spruce comes from Wadsworth, Ohio. There will not be a party around the tree-lighting this year because of the pandemic. Instead, 3CDC says the Nov. 27 ceremony will be televised and online.

-Additional reporting by Bill Rinehart

This article was first published Nov. 6 and has been updated. 

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.