Crawfordsville’s annual Christmas Parade has been canceled due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.
Organized each year by the Crawfordsville Chamber of Commerce, the tradition has become a staple in the community, drawing thousands annually to the downtown area.
Though the Chamber announced the cancellation on its website, Director Cassie Hagan and Assistant Director Casey Hockersmith recently offered explanation in the form of a press release.
“It is just not feasible — for a number of reasons — in 2020, so we have turned our energy toward providing some fun alternatives,” the release reads. “There are a number of safety issues to consider in a ‘normal’ year planning the parade, and adding social distancing and the fact that many of our regular parade entrants will not be able to participate due to corporate policies this year, we don’t feel confidant we can put on the great parade you’ve come to expect.”
However, “plenty of family-friendly holiday happenings” have been planned, including open houses, decorating contests and a party night.
“This coming weekend, many county gift and flower shops will participate in a Holiday Open House event,” the release reads. “The community may be less familiar with this event, but it’s another great opportunity to start your shopping early and support local businesses. This is also a great option for anyone concerned with avoiding crowds while shopping.”
Downtown Party Night is set for Nov. 28.
“Downtown Party Night will really kick the holiday season into full swing. Community members can expect most of the familiar features of the evening, such as a Santa Experience with Abbey Elaine Photography and live music, with added safety precautions,” the release reads. “Event organizers will take caution with the health and safety of attendees as well as our business owners.”
The Chamber’s full schedule of holiday events for the 2020 season include:
• Gift and flower shop holiday open houses, Nov. 13-15; Holiday Window Decorating Contest, Nov. 28-Dec. 12; Small Business Saturday and Downtown Party Night, Nov. 28; Festival of Trees at the Masonic Cornerstone Grand Hall and Event Center, Nov. 28-Dec. 19; Chamber Day at Festival of Trees, Nov. 30; and Carols and Cocoa at Pike Place Park, Dec. 12.
“Crawfordsville is fortunate to have a beautiful downtown at Christmastime, as do many of our other small towns, and we would like to invite local businesses to join the efforts in providing a safe, fun shopping experience for families,” the release reads. “Likewise, we encourage local consumers to really consider the power of their choice to spend their money locally this year. It will make a difference in which businesses survive to serve us in 2021. Please be patient as your favorite businesses try to adjust to serve you safely.”
Those interested are encouraged to follow Crawfordsville MainStreet, The Montgomery County Visitors Bureau and the Chamber on social media or visit their websites for event updates and announcements.
For more information, including times of each event, visit www.crawfordsvillechamber.com or call 765-362-6800.