Thursday, March 23, 2023

It would have been its 55th year: The 2020 Williamsburg Christmas Parade cancelled, but there’s still a way to spread cheer

Santa and Mrs. Claus concluded the 2015 Williamsburg Christmas Parade. (WYDaily file)
Santa and Mrs. Claus concluded the 2015 Williamsburg Christmas Parade. (WYDaily file)

There’s finally word on the fate of the 2020 Greater Williamsburg Christmas Parade.

The Greater Williamsburg Business Council has decided to cancel the parade due to safety concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the safety of spectators, volunteers, and participants, we feel that it is necessary to cancel this year’s Christmas Parade,” Terry Banez, CEO of the Greater Williamsburg Business Council wrote in a news release. “This is not what any of us would have wanted, so we delayed making the decision until we were certain that we could not move forward.”

The parade has been a local tradition of Williamsburg’s since 1965.

“The cancellation of this annual event is a reminder that COVID-19 continues to be a threat to our community” said Williamsburg City Manager Andrew Trivette. “I applaud the Business Council for their efforts to find alternate ways to celebrate this year. The City looks forward to a return of the Christmas Parade in 2021.”

But Christmas cheer is far from being cancelled.

The Business Council is hosting a Santa Sighting drive-by on Dec. 5 from 8 to 11 a.m.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on the Williamsburg Community Building lawn to greet families from a safe distance. Family caravans will enter from North Henry Street and exit onto North Boundary Street.

Kids can also drop off their letters to Santa with his elves present.

After the drive-by event, Williamsburg Mayor Doug Pons will welcome Santa to town via Facebook Live at noon. Afterwards, Santa will read a classic holiday story to the family.

Amanda Terrell, social media and web design manager for the Business Council, said more details regarding the event will be released later this week.

As for next year, Julie Summs, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Greater Williamsburg Business Council, said next year’s parade will be “bigger and better than ever.”


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