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Forest of Lights: Despite pandemic, drive-thru display in Susquehanna County lights way to holiday cheer

Drive-thru holiday displays prove extra popular during the pandemic.

FRIENDSVILLE, Pa. — Drive-thru displays have been around for years, but this year there is more of a spotlight on them as people are encouraged to avoid crowds.

This is the second year of Forest of Lights, a holiday display through the Tall Pines Players Club near Montrose.

Last year, the restaurant was open at full capacity, and Santa’s Workshop was, too.

“I wish you could have seen it last year with our Santa. He was the real deal, straight from the North Pole. He would come out of his chair and run up to the kids and say, ‘Look how big you’ve grown!’ And that piece we are going to miss tremendously," said Tom Follert of Forest of Lights.

This year, there is no Santa’s Workshop because of the health crisis, though he will be there waving to people.

There are limited reservations at the restaurant, but people will be able to order food and pick it up.

Despite those changes, organizers call this is one of the best and safest ways to get some holiday cheer this year.

“The more people that come out, the better and honestly, we really we feel strongly about connecting with our community, and this is the way to do it," said Follert.

Organizers said they are grateful to be a drive-thru event, the kind of business that can continue despite health concerns.

 “We can continue doing what we started. I know a lot of businesses face that obstacle the way they’re supposed to, so we are able to fully socially distance. Whoever shows up in their car, it’s one fee for the carload of people — $25 gets you in and out. We worked so hard last year to make this a true Christmas experience.”

Starting Wednesday, Forest of Lights will be open every day through Christmas Day.

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