2020 Peacelight from Bethlehem
Due to a full lockdown of Austria until December 6, and imposed governmental restrictions, there are no direct flights between Vienna and the USA. That is why the Peacelight will not be delivered to the Americas. However, there are still sites in the New York City vicinity that keep the last year's flame continuously burning. Under these special circumstances, there will be a Peacelight Ceremony held, although we will share the flame delivered to us a year ago.
Considering strong safety restrictions at JFK Airport, this year's Celebration and distribution of the flame will take place on Saturday, December 5 at 12:00 noon,
at St. Joseph Catholic Church in South Jamaica, Queens (108-43 Sutphin Blvd). There is ample free parking behind the church for those who will join us. The church is also wheelchair accessible. As of today, we are allowed to have 50% occupancy of the church (226 people), which gives us enough room to conduct the Ceremony. Social distancing and PPE requirements will be in place. The Ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube. After the live stream is over, the video recording will remain on the YouTube platform.
Please be advised that the Ceremony could be altered due to recent predictions by Mayor Bill de Blasio about a possible "orange zone" in the city in the beginning of December.
This year the Peacelight has been lit at the Basilica of the Nativity by 9-year old Maria Khoury, who is a Christian living in Bethlehem. Maria has been familiar with the idea of the Peacelight since she was a small child. Due to COVID-19, no Austrian Boy or Girl Scout was chosen for this prestigious moment.
At this time the Peacelight made it from Bethlehem to Linz, Austria. The official Peacelight Ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 12 in Salzburg, Austria.
You can see the video clip of the lighting and delivery to Linz, as reported by the ORF Austrian TV by clicking on the picture below:
UPDATED: November 20, 2020