The Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce announced the cancellation of the 43rd annual Christmas Parade, Wednesday afternoon.
The parade was scheduled for Dec. 1.
“In consideration for the health and safety of our staff, our members and the community, the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce has chosen to cancel the 43rd Annual Christmas parade,” the chamber said in a written release.
“This was not an easy decision to make, but with the number of positive COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, but we know it is the only logical choice to make,” Jeanine McKenna, president/CEO of the chamber, said. “Many business and organizations are starting to work from home again and are asking their staff not to congregate.
“Even though we felt we had come up with a sound proof plan for people to still celebrate the holiday season, we know that human nature is for people to chat and visit with people they see out and about. The annual Christmas Parade would be no different, and we want to see the numbers go down versus up.”
The chamber had already changed the format of the parade this year, switching from a traditional parade to a “reserve parade.” The goal was to reduce crowds and thus, reduce the risk of community spread.
“The Annual Christmas Parade is something our community looks forward to every year and we are saddened to have to make this decision due to the current spread of COVID-19,” Chairman of the Board Kala Maxfield said. “However, the safety and wellbeing of our community is much more important. We appreciate all the support we have had from our community partners and members.”
“While this year has been different all around, I am confident we will all be able to gather and celebrate again someday soon. Let’s all do our best to support our local businesses and get through this historic pandemic together.”