PHOTOS: Residents work to keep holiday spirit alive during pandemic

Ada, 6 mo.,Blake, 3, and their mother Morgan Andrews have a socially distant visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Patricia and Anthony Calcagno) during the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Lights on December 13, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Dean Hesse, contributor

Avondale Estates, GA —Putting on holiday events during a pandemic has compelled organizers to come up with creative solutions to keep people safe while giving them an opportunity to experience the joy of the season.

Over the weekend in Avondale Estates, the annual Christmas Tour of Homes became a drive-through Christmas Tour of Lights with socially distant visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

In Tucker, Pointe of Grace Dance Studios moved its annual event outdoors for a Holiday in the Park(ing) Lot while also collecting clothing and food items for refugees in Clarkston.

Norah Brubaker, 8, who said she’s been dancing since she was 3 years old, sits on her “island,” a yoga mat each student uses as a safe space while waiting to dance during a Pointe of Grace Dance Studios ‘Holiday in the Park(ing) Lot’ outdoor performance in Tucker on Dec. 12, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Lit up homes are reflected in Lake Avondale during the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Lights on December 13, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

A home’s front yard is lit up during the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Lights on December 13, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

A home’s front yard is lit up during the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Lights on December 13, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Amy Gilbert, owner and director of Pointe of Grace Dance Studios in Tucker talks with first through third-grade dancers before they take the stage during a ‘Holiday in the Park(ing) Lot’ outdoor performance in Tucker Dec. 13, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Lizzie Floody, 15, and Brennan Bruso, 14, dance to “Baby it’s Cold Outside” during a Pointe of Grace Dance Studios ‘Holiday in the Park(ing) Lot’ outdoor performance in Tucker on Dec. 12, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Emma Jane Jones goes airborne while dancing to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” during a Pointe of Grace Dance Studios ‘Holiday in the Park(ing) Lot’ outdoor performance in Tucker on Dec. 12, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Madelyn Bello, 12, and ME Freeman, 10, prepare to take the stage for “Deck the Rooftop” during a Pointe of Grace Dance Studios ‘Holiday in the Park(ing) Lot’ outdoor performance in Tucker on Dec. 12, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Chelsea Caddell as Max the dog and Celine Conner as The Grinch, both 16, perform during a Pointe of Grace Dance Studios ‘Holiday in the Park(ing) Lot’ outdoor performance in Tucker on Dec. 12, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Abby Scholl (front) and Gabbi Lee, both 10, point to the audience while dancing to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” during a Pointe of Grace Dance Studios ‘Holiday in the Park(ing) Lot’ outdoor performance in Tucker on Dec. 12, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

The floating Christmas tree reflects on Lake Avondale as people walk by on the night of the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Lights on December 13, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

In order to maintain social distance, Santa and Mrs. Claus (Anthony and Patricia Calcagno) listen to the Christmas wishes of Harper, 9, and Juniper, 2, with their mother Sonya Longhofer from the back seat a classic Oldsmobile 442 during the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Lights on December 13, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

A home’s front yard is lit up during the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Lights on December 13, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.