Local Christmas parades cancelled

Originally slated to honor local first responders and essential workers, Mount Pleasant’s 29th Annual Rotary Club Christmas Parade has now officially been cancelled.

  Citing a recent rise in local COVID-19 active cases and deaths, the lack of crowd control was also a major factor in deciding to cancel the Dec.5 parade. Annually, the holiday event attracts up to 5,000 people.

   On the club’s Facebook page, the following statement further explained organizers’ regrets.

   “It’s with sadness that the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club announces the cancellation of the 2020 Christmas parade,” the statement read. “This annual event has been held for 29 years within the city limits of Mt. Pleasant and has worked hand in hand with Mt. Pleasant Police and Fire Departments for a safe and fantastic experience for residents and tourists from all over Northeast Texas. Every one of you have worked with us to build one of the largest lighted parades in this area. We are grateful for each of you. This year City officials have determined a parade is not in the best health interests of our community. We understand this has been a difficult year for many and we know you were all looking forward to the parade as part of your holiday family festivities, but since our parade would have taken place in the city limits, we must comply with the decision of the City and cancel the 29th annual Rotary Christmas Parade. We apologize for any inconvenience this will cause as we know many of you have already invested in your floats. Any fees will be refunded. We thank you all for your continued support of this Rotary event year after year and we will return in 2021, bigger and better than ever.”

   After a followup meeting involving local emergency response team members, Rotary Club members and City officials, Rotary Club members voted 10-6 not to agree to the option of hosting a reverse parade.

   Just south of Mount Pleasant, the Pittsburg-Camp County Chamber of Commerce also just cancelled its planned parade. A Nov. 16 Pittsburg Chamber Facebook post read:

   “The Pittsburg-Camp County Chamber of Commerce is very disappointed to announce that this year’s Reverse Christmas Parade, scheduled for Dec. 5, has been cancelled. Unfortunately, due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, many of our parade entries are unable to participate.  While the parade has been cancelled, the Chamber has many fun activities planned including photos with the Grinch, a Grinch Scavenger Hunt, and Grinch Bingo.”

    Organizers had originally planned a reverse Christmas parade as part of the Pittsburg’s Whoville Christmas themed event. Parade goers would drive the parade route and view the entries.  The afternoon event would also feature downtown merchants remaining open for evening shopping hours.