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COVID concerns dash Ashland's Olde Time Holiday Parade

Asland Holiday parade.jpg
Posted at 3:45 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 15:45:11-04

ASHLAND, Va. -- The Town of Ashland and the Kiwanis Club of Ashland have canceled its Olde Time Holiday Parade. The organizers cited COVID-19 concerns as the reason for the cancellation.

"The [2019] parade had over 110 units with upwards of 2,500 combined participants, along with thousands of spectators lining the parade route in close quarters, sometimes two and three rows deep," parade organizers posted on Facebook. "Additionally, it takes dozens of volunteers from the Kiwanis Club and staff members from the town to safely manage and organize this event. Many conversations these folks have on the day of the parade are in close contact and often increasing in volume to be heard over the noise of nearby vehicles. For those volunteers and staffers, no form of social distancing can be possible. In keeping with concerns over virus transmission, especially the yet unforeseen extent of the 'Delta' variant, we cannot in good conscience move forward safely at this time."

The statement indicated the decision to cancel was not made lightly and was collaborative among town staff, Kiwanis Club members, and the Chickahominy Health District.

"Although we need to be responsible in this decision, we also understand that our community needs these uplifting events more than ever for our collective well-being," the statement continued. "The Town of Ashland and the Kiwanis Club of Ashland will be seeking creative avenues to bring a bit of joy to our Ashland community during the holiday season."