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This year's Vine Street Showcase in Paso Robles will be modified due to pandemic

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Posted at 6:08 PM, Nov 29, 2021

The Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase in Paso Robles is in less than two weeks.

Every year, many who live along Vine Street go all out with their Christmas decorations. While that will still be the same, organizers are asking that people drive through the event instead of walk.

This year will mark 35 years of the Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase.

"I can't believe it," said Norma Moye, Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association Executive Director. "Where does the time go?"

Moye created what's become a holiday mainstay in Paso Robles.

"One day I thought, 'You know? It'd be neat to have a Christmas. An old-fashioned Christmas,'" Moye explained.

Those who live on Vine Street from 8th to 21st streets put up all sorts of holiday décor.

"We moved here in 1994 and we decorated the first year and we've been decorating ever since," said Russ Surber of Paso Robles.

"When our boys were young they would say, 'More lights! More lights!'" added Kurt Weide.

According to organizers, the one-night event attracts up to 30,000 people from all over San Luis Obispo County.

"We've toned it down a lot but people still enjoy the lights and that's why we do it because the community enjoys it, so it's worth it," Weide said.

"It's fun to watch the crowds going up and down the street," Surber added. "It's fun to walk up and down the street and just be part of a large crowd like that."

But current COVID-19 restrictions for outdoor events with more than 1,000 people recommend a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

"There's no way we can do that," Moye said. "Not with that many people because they come and they go."

Now for the second year in a row, it'll be a drive-through event and no live entertainment, food or beverages will be permitted.

The modified event has sparked some controversy on social media with some questioning why sporting events with thousands of spectators can still happen or pointing out the fact that transmission rates are low while outdoors.

"I think probably we get more social value out of gathering together than we get risk and I'd like to see it," Surber said.

But those we talked with are mostly just happy the tradition is not canceled altogether.

"For us, we have an open house still for our friends and family so for us it really doesn't change things any and at least they are trying to do something and not let the tradition go away completely," Weide said.

If you're interested in checking out the lights and decorations, Vine Street is happening on Saturday, December 11 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Snow King and Queen will be in a sleigh followed by Scrooge.