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COVID-19 cancels parade, For first time in 51 years, holiday event won’t be held in town

COVID-19 cancels parade, For first time in 51 years, holiday event won’t be held in town

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Olde Time Holiday Parade

This scene from 2018 shows the excitement and wonder of participants in the Town of Ashland and Kiwanis Club’s annual Olde Time Holiday Parade. Unfortunately, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, town leaders and the Kiwanis Club decided to cancel the parade for the first time in 51 years.

ASHLAND – Due to concerns about the potential for community spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Town of Ashland and Kiwanis Club have – with a collective heavy heart – decided to cancel the Olde Time Holiday Parade this year. This will be the first time in 51 years that the parade has been canceled.

According to Ranny Robertson, parade chair, Kiwanis Club of Ashland, and Douglas A. Goodman Jr., chief of police, Ashland Police Department, the parade attracted over 110 units with 2,100 combined participants last year. Thousands of spectators lined the parade route in close quarters, sometimes two and three rows deep.

“In keeping with concerns over virus transmission and the current limitations of gatherings outlined in Governor Northam’s Executive Order #67, we cannot in good conscience move forward safely,” Robertson and Goodman said.

“Given the immense amount of preparation, this decision must be made at this time to be fair to the dozens of volunteers and loyal units who have been involved in this parade for years,” they added.

Robertson and Goodman emphasized that the decision “was not made lightly and involved input from town staff, Kiwanis members and the Chickahominy Health District.”

In closing, Robertson and Goodman said, “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 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.”

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