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In celebration of the holiday season while keeping with COVID-19 health restrictions, the city of Richmond has readied a myriad of virtual events to spread holiday cheer.

Beginning today, Santa is coming to everyone’s home via the virtual Downtown Holiday Festival organized by the Richmond Main Street Initiative and East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. The free event broadcast live on YouTube will kick off at 6 p.m. and will feature storytime with Santa and A Richmond Nutcracker performance, presented in English and Spanish.

Santa will also come to town to visit Richmond’s senior centers Thursday for some family fun. The video event, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., can be joined via Zoom with the meeting ID 997 0154 9683 and passcode 501164.

The city is also hosting a virtual cookie decorating contest this week and will crown 10 winners Dec. 21. Everyone is invited to bake and decorate cookies, or even decorate a cookie coloring sheet, and share a photo of it on social media with the tag #RichmondVirtualHolidays by Friday. The winners of the contest will be randomly selected to win holiday goodies.

The Richmond Public Library is also planning a Winter Solstice celebration to be held on Dec. 21. The event will be hosted by author Margaret C. Murray, and will include art, music, drumming and readings from her books. More information on how to register and participate will be released later.

In addition to this event, the library is hosting Flannel Fridays every week, featuring readings, songs and educational fun with Miss Janelle of the library. These events are suitable for all ages and are available on the library’s Facebook and Youtube channel.