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'Children's Wonderland' returns to the Tam-O-Shanter for 2021

Organizers of a decades-long holiday tradition are working pandemic protocol into the prep along with hanging the lights and getting displays ready.

SYLVANIA, Ohio — Tam-O-Shanter's annual "Children's Wonderland" opens on Friday.

It's been 58 years since the event first came to northwest Ohio, but just like many other things, the pandemic put a red light on the event last year. 

"This was a tradition for many families. They come every year, they work it into their holiday schedule," venue and events manager Brittany Meronk said. "So, not having it last year really put a damper on things. So, everybody is really excited to have it come back and return this year."

A lot of the trees are sponsored by local businesses, like Cake in a Cup.

"We're so happy that we've survived COVID and all of these other local companies have survived," said co-owner Lori Jacobs. "So, we're just excited to be a part of this. Actually looking at it, it's really amazing. I forgot how cute it is and I'm excited to bring some of my family."

If you're worried about staying safe with COVID-19 cases on the rise, Meronk said that along with following state and local regulations and strongly encouraging masks, there are plenty of protocols in place this year. 

"(We'll be) following any kind of mandates that come out and then we'll continue to monitor the capacity as people come in throughout the day to make sure it doesn't get overloaded," she said.

Jacobs said coming back to "Children's Wonderland" as an adult gives her the same excitement she had as a kid.

"Because as a kid, all of these displays really are magical and they're so much bigger than they are to you as an adult," explained Jacobs. "So, to see it as an adult now, I still think it's magical."

"Children's Wonderland" opens Friday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. and will run through December 23.

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