Local family moves Thanksgiving outdoors to celebrate safely

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — While many families canceled their Thanksgiving plans this year in the wake of COVID-19, one family wouldn’t let a global pandemic spoil their plans.

The Crist family typically celebrates the holiday at Sharlene Crist’s house. But this year, they had no intentions of changing their plans, instead, celebrating at Wildwood Park.

“We still wanted to be together in some way and this seemed like a really safe way to do it,” Crist said.

With coronavirus numbers on the rise in Pennsylvania and across the country, they didn’t want to take any risks.

“Well we take this very seriously. We’re older and we don’t want to get sick,” Crist said.

But they still wanted to be able to be together, so renting an outside area at the park seemed like the perfect solution.

“It seemed like a good compromise. We could be outside and out of the weather and still be together,” Crist said.

Her granddaughter Tabitha says celebrating there is definitely a change of scenery.

“It’s weird, because I’m not used to having to wear a mask and not being able to hug people or anything like that,” Tabitha Crist said. “We’re still celebrating it and we’re still together but it’s still safe and distanced.”

It turns out the pandemic style celebration actually did have some perks.

“It actually made it a little easier, because we didn’t have to clean the house,” Sharlene Crist said.

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