Akron, Ohio, November 13, 2020— Today, Mayor Horrigan has announced new programming coming to Lock 3 this winter season. For the 17th consecutive winter, the City of Akron will provide residents and visitors a season of outdoor fun and activities for adults and children starting Friday, November 27th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has a host of new, creative, and safe options for family fun this year that will allow residents and guests alike to enjoy the season in a safe, socially distanced environment. All programming and activities have been approved by Summit County Public Health.
“We are excited to be able to provide residents and guests with fun, safe options to celebrate the winter season this year,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “2020 looks different in a lot of ways and we've had to make changes to the programming to adjust, but the new activities we have planned this year truly provide something for everyone! Grab a drink in the DORA and check out the outdoor art gallery, stroll along the cottages or take in a light show at Lock 4, take your family for a round of putt-putt golf or rent an igloo for an evening. There are plenty of options to enjoy the season while following public health guidelines.”
Due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, the City will not be hosting the ice rink this year. There will also be no Welcome Santa parade. The traditional tree lighting event in Lock 3 has been replaced with outdoor neighborhood events on Friday November 27th. Read below for further details. For a full calendar of events and programming please visit Lock3Live.com.
The City's new Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) along the Lock3/Akron Civic Theatre block of downtown Akron will be open throughout the winter festivities. The Akron DORA is a designated public area where alcoholic beverages can be purchased from permitted establishments and consumed outside within the district. Local customers looking for a unique, outdoor refreshment experience can visit Barley House, Lockview, or Lock 3 (during designated events) and purchase a “to-go” beverage to be enjoyed while strolling downtown within the DORA. For more information, please visit www.downtownakron.com/explore/downtown-akron-dora.
Lock 3 Featured Events and Activities:
Instead of the traditional tree lighting which occurs in Lock 3, this year the City has expanded lighting displays into several neighborhoods of the City. These additional lighting displays will be celebrated Friday, November 27th, from 6pm – 9pm. Guests can bring family and friends to celebrate the start of the holiday season with Santa visits, music, cookies, hot cocoa and more at one of these four locations: Lock 3, Kenmore Boulevard, North Hill or Maple Valley. These neighborhood events are being put on with the help of the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, the Maple Valley CDC, and the North Akron CDC.
The Santa visits will be conducted in a socially distanced format. Santa will be seated inside of a snow globe. Children will be able to talk to Santa from outside of the snow globe. The City may announce other Santa visit opportunities outside of these neighborhood events in the future. Specific locations for the Akron Lights events will be announced at Lock3Live.com and Facebook.com/Lock3Live. As a reminder, residents must wear masks at all times when social distancing cannot be maintained, even when outside.
‘Twas the Night Before the Holiday Celebrations- Outdoor Art Gallery
The City of Akron and Lock 3 will be creating an Outdoor Art Gallery for the Holiday Season. Attendees will be able to walk along Main St. and see local artists' depictions of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and "Celebrations of the Holidays." QR Codes will also be with each rendering for reading the story or for more information about the holidays represented. Grab a drink in the DORA and take a stroll through the art gallery!
This year for the first time, Lock 3 will be offering igloo rentals! The 6 heated igloos will be available for 2 hour rentals on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays through the winter season. Guests can bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages or purchase a pre-determined package from Lock 3. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase on site. Each igloo must be rented as a whole and can hold a maximum of 8 people. Guests are encouraged to only come with members of their immediate household or those who are part of their quarantine bubble (a small group of people who form their own social circle to quarantine together). The igloos will be properly cleaned and sanitized after each use. Information on pricing will be available soon at Lock3Live.com.
Archie the Snowman
Akron’s beloved Archie is coming home! Archie has been in Chapel Hill Mall since 2014 but this year he’s coming home to Lock 3. One of Akron’s favorite holiday traditions, Archie is returning new and improved and a little bigger (22 ft. tall)! Archie will be unveiled on Friday, November 27th. He will be located in the secure alley at Lock 3. This will give guests room to socially distance but will protect Archie from the weather. The alley is monitored via 24/7 camera surveillance.
Archie will be available for visits:
Tuesdays – Thursdays 5pm-8pm
Fridays – Sundays 3pm-9pm
Arctic Putt-Putt Golf
This year, with social distancing in mind, Arctic Putt-Putt has been moved outdoors for families to enjoy safely. The holes have been placed around Lock 3 Park and have been covered with tents.
Vintage Holiday Windows
The Windows to the Past consist of 8 Cottages along Garden Alley (middle of Lock 3) filled with animated Christmas displays. These classic displays have brought joy to Akronites for more than 50 years. Guests can bring friends and family to take a walk down memory lane and enjoy the holiday season of the past and present as they appreciate each display.
Lock 4 Light Show Presented by Huntington
Light Shows are coming to Lock 4 this winter season thanks to Huntington! The lights will be synchronized to music and play for 8 minute shows at the top of each hour from 5pm-9pm. The shows will include a beautifully lit 22 ft. tall LED Christmas tree, supported by dancing snowflake lights, canal lights, and flashing tree lights. Guests will be asked to maintain social distancing while enjoying the show.
The City has free blank ornaments available now to be picked up throughout November at the Peanut Shoppe downtown. Guests are encouraged to decorate the ornaments with materials provided and place their wishes for the New Year inside the ornament. Guests can then return the ornaments to Lock 3 on November 27th from 6pm-9pm, to watch the ornaments get hung on the tree. Additional ornaments will be available throughout the season for people to decorate and return to be placed on the tree.
Ornaments of Light
Large scale ornaments will be created by Hazel Tree Design Studio and Rust Belt Rebirth and placed in Lock 3. They will be covered with lights and will make for great photo opportunities!
The winter programming is made possible through sponsorships including Huntington and Bridgestone Americas. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for many of the above wintertime activities. Businesses who are interested in sponsoring can contact Akron's Lock 3 and Downtown Operations Manager, Tish Jernigan at LJernigan@akronohio.gov.
There’s something for everyone down at Lock 3 this winter season. While guests come downtown to enjoy the light displays, activities, and sights, including the new murals on the Akron Civic Theatre, they can also download the Akronite app and earn blimps at any of the participating locations when they eat, drink, and shop at local businesses. And don’t forget about Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 28! Small Business Saturday is a day where residents are encouraged to shop locally for the holiday season to support our small businesses and merchants. During the on-going coronavirus pandemic, it's more important than ever to support our local businesses.
The City will continue to offer free two hour parking in designated downtown lots and the State Street parking deck through the end of 2020. See a map with the locations here. Additionally, the day after Thanksgiving there is free parking for all decks, lots, and meters in downtown Akron.