The Asheville Downtown Association today announced that the Asheville Holiday Parade is canceled for 2020 due to public health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to cancel the parade was based on North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s September 30th announcement moving North Carolina into Phase 3. Phase 3 continues to limit outdoor gatherings to 50 people and provides capacity limits for outdoor spaces. The uncertainty of COVID-19 conditions and public safety protocols in effect at the time of the parade drove the decision.
“There are thousands of people in the parade and as many as 20,000 have come to watch in previous years, so it’s just not responsible to move forward in the midst of a public health crisis,” said Meghan Rogers, executive director of the Asheville Downtown Association.
The Asheville Downtown Association took over production of the Asheville Holiday Parade in 2008. The parade first marched, danced and rolled through downtown Asheville in 1946, meaning 2020 would have marked the 74th annual parade. The parade is produced in partnership with the City of Asheville.
“The City of Asheville understands and is supportive of the Downtown Association’s decision. While we all look forward to the return of normal activities, we understand that public health has to be the driving factor in these kinds of situations,” noted Sam Powers, community and economic development director for the City of Asheville.
The Asheville Downtown Association is planning to host free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Saturday, November 21 at Rabbit Rabbit in downtown Asheville. Families will register for a time slot to maintain social distancing, and children and families will also remain distanced from Santa and Mrs. Claus for photos.
The Asheville Downtown Association will also continue to host its annual Downtown Holiday Windows Contest. More information on both of the above opportunities to come.
For more information about the Asheville Downtown Association, visit ashevilledowntown.org