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No holiday parade in Harrisonburg as city cites COVID concerns

For the second year in a row, the City of Harrisonburg will not be holding a holiday parade.
For the second year in a row, the City of Harrisonburg will not be holding a holiday parade.(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 8:12 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - For the second year in a row, the City of Harrisonburg will not be holding a holiday parade. The city made the decision after consulting with local health officials about the possible impact a parade could have on the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re seeing some good numbers when it comes to the spread of the pandemic in our community, but there’s still some troubling aspects to it, now we’ve come to the time where we had to decide and we realized it’s still not something that we could responsibly do,” said Mike Parks, Harrisonburg director of communications.

The city says that with the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in the area, a parade would simply pack too many people too closely together.

“It wouldn’t be responsible for us to put on an event that was gonna draw thousands of people from our community, from surrounding communities and ask them to stand shoulder to shoulder, multiple rows deep for an hour or more, it wasn’t the responsible thing to do for health and wellness in our community,” said Parks.

Instead of the traditional parade, the city will hold a distanced community event called Winter Wonderfest December 11.

“This is gonna give people a chance to spread out and go to different things, make that choice ‘Do I feel comfortable taking my family into this area or over to this event?’ as opposed to a parade where everyone is bunched up on Main Street looking in the one specific area, so this will allow people to spread out more,” said Parks.

While there will be no holiday parade in the Friendly City, there will be some in the Valley. Staunton will hold its Christmas celebration November 29.

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