JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to ramp up in Northeast Arkansas, some communities are canceling their holiday parade plans while others say the show must go on.
After initially saying they would cancel this year’s parade, the Jonesboro Jaycees had a change of heart and announced on Oct. 18 that it would be part of “Christmas at the Park” on Dec. 3.
Towns going ahead with their Christmas parade plans include:
- Batesville: The Kiwanis Club announced its annual parade would be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. down Main Street and up College Avenue “to spread out the crowd.” No candy will be thrown out.
- Leachville: The parade will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, and will follow CDC guidelines. Attendees are encouraged to wear masks and maintain 6′ of distance. There will be no refreshments sold or photos with Santa following the parade.
- Newport: The Chamber of Commerce said the annual parade will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. Participants will travel down Highway 69 to Malcolm Avenue then to the Village Mall parking lot.
- Osceola: Osceola Main Street announced the Christmas parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 12
- Swifton: Will hold its Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 5. Lineup will begin at 4:15 at the grain bins. The route will go down Dixie onto Main Street. All Arkansas Department of Health guidelines will be imposed, including 6′ social distancing and masks. It is recommended that citizens watch the parade from their vehicles if possible
Other towns in Northeast Arkansas, however, have said they will not hold parades this coming holiday season, including:
- Blytheville: Announced on Oct. 27 “the parade carries with it a number of risk factors that cannot be mitigated.” Planning a parade in 2021.
- Brookland: On Nov. 10, Mayor Kenneth Jones said the parade set for Dec. 6 had been canceled. “Safety of our citizens is Priority 1 at this time,” he said. The 20th annual Christmas Parade will be held on the first Sunday of December 2021.
- Grubbs: Town leaders announced Tuesday, Dec. 1, it had canceled the annual Christmas parade due to COVID restrictions.
- Paragould: Christmas parade canceled due to Arkansas Department of Health COVID-19 restrictions. Main Street Paragould hopes to incorporate parts of the parade during its “Enchanting Nights” event which runs Dec. 3, 10, and 17.
- Tuckerman: Announced Monday, Nov. 30, that its parade would be canceled “due to the recent higher numbers of COVID in our community.”