With the holidays upon us, it’s certainly a time for reflection during a year like none other.

When thinking back on 2020, it’s impossible to ignore how the COVID pandemic dramatically affected families, businesses, nonprofits, and communities overall. The health-safety spotlight cast its light on how we interact with the world and showed we need to be mindful and pivot how approach our daily habits.

I’ve had conversations with friends and family on how the word “pivot” could be the word of the year. Along with adapt, multi-task, flexibility, compromise, and resolve.

But I’d like to add another word to that list: REIMAGINE.

Maybe I’m an optimist, but for all the times 2020 said we can’t, I tried to reimagine what was still possible. Like many, I wanted to make connections with friends and family, but had to reimagine what that looked like virtually. Enjoying meals from my favorite restaurants were now reimagined as drive-thru or delivery. And wanting to travel, I reimagined how to cure my adventure itch by discovering the “Wisconsin Experience” in my own neck of the woods.

Luckily, we Wisconsinites are fortunate to live in a state rich with one-of-a-kind wonders in nature and man-made. We are also fortunate to be surrounded by the Wisconsin can-do spirit, where our infamous Midwestern kindness can be found in both cities and towns large and small. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism even started a hashtag campaign at the beginning of the pandemic (#HowWiHelp) to highlight how Wisconsinites are helping one another through this health challenge.

So what about 2021? How do we reimagine tourism for our friends and neighbors in Jefferson County as the pandemic continues?

In Johnson Creek, we are answering that question by asking folks to continue being mindful of the health climate, follow safety protocols, and REIMAGINE LOCAL. Meaning you don’t have to go far to find adventure and can reimagine what connection looks like when you safely visit and support places locally. And with help from the Jefferson County Tourism Council, we are creating Top 5 lists that help folks reimagine what is possible during this time as well. That said, we also encourage all to plan ahead and research the safety protocols of local businesses, trails, and parks to know what is open and possible.

So this holiday season, let’s take stock of how much has changed this year, reimagine what remains possible, and continue to safely support our family, friends, neighbors, and community.

Tourism & Communications Director at | 920-699-2296, 105 | Website

Katie is the Tourism & Communications Director for the Village of Johnson Creek (www.visitjohnsoncreek.org) and is currently the President of the Jefferson County Tourism Council.