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Christmas parade to be a static allowing cars to drive through

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Denison Chamber of Commerce announced that it will transition its annual Christmas parade into a static display for 2020. Rather than parading through downtown, visitors will instead drive through the holiday displays on Dec. 3.

Santa Claus and his elves will be taking precautions when they visit Denison for the city's annual Christmas parade next month.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Denison Chamber of Commerce  has announced a new route for the annual parade that will take place on Dec. 3. Organizers announced this week that as a precaution, the parade will take place as a static display.

“With COVID on the rise we know that changing our regular Christmas Parade to a drive-thru static display was the right call," Denison Chamber President Diana Theall said. "With this change comes challenges in making sure the community can find the entrance of the parade and also find the hot cocoa competition that will be held in Katy Park at the Katy Depot. “

For this year's festivities, the parade will feature static floats, displays and other groups lining Travis Street as parade goers drive through to see the sights similar to Holiday Lights along Loy Lake Park. Through this organizers said they hope to keep everyone safe and socially distant.

"Usually with our parade, people line up on Crawford and we drive down Main Street and people line up on both sides to watch it," Theall said.

The parade normally attracts crowds of 5,000-8,000, making the event impossible to keep socially distant.

"Number one, that is against the governor's orders, and number two it isn't the safe thing to do," Theall added.

Organizers for the parade started the planning season knowing that this year's parade would look differently. With that knowledge, Theall said organizers planned for some form of alternative parade nearly from the beginning.

"Back in October when we had to cancel the fall festival we had a good idea that we wouldn't be able to hold a normal Christmas parade," she said.

In addition to the parade itself, Theall said other festivities will be held at the Katy Depot in support of the Red River Railroad Museum. 

"We will have Santa at the depot as well," she said. "You won't be able to get on his lap, but he'll be up on top of the baggage car and kids can stand next to the car for a photo."

While the event is normally free for groups and participants,  Theall said organizers are charging $20 for groups that would like to setup a display or float. These funds will go in support of the museum.

For more information, please visit the Denison Chamber of Commerce at http://www.denisontexas.us.