Downtown Billings Holiday Parade Canceled
Is cancelation fatigue setting in? Yes, yes it is. It seems like I've written, "in a year full of cancellations" about a hundred times this year. Here comes another one. The Downtown Billings Alliance announced today in a press release that the Holiday Parade has been cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19. Damn you COVID. You took our concerts, monster trucks, family reunions, 4th of July celebrations, Strawberry Festival, downtown Farmers' Market, Alive After 5's and now you're trying to squash Christmas.
Of course, Christmas and the holiday season is much more than a parade and I'm sure that we'll all find ways to enjoy the spirit of giving this year (while practicing social distancing), but still... it's a bummer. The day-after-Thanksgiving tradition in downtown Billings will be missed. This would have been the 36th anniversary of the parade and associated festivities. Organizers said they attempted to modify the parade and make it a "drive-by" event, but Riverstone Health officials were concerned about additional foot traffic in downtown Billings and did not approve the DBA's modified plan for the parade. DBA CEO Katy Easton said in the press release,
We are disappointed to have to cancel the holiday parade, we knew it was a possibility. As a team we brainstormed extensively on how to bring the parade safely to our community, but in the end we fully support the County Health Office’s efforts to try to flatten and slow our County’s COVID-19 numbers. We share their concern, and we are very committed to not hosting large, crowd drawing events that could put our small business community and healthcare providers at higher risk.
As COVID-19 numbers, deaths and nearly full ICU rooms continue to impact Yellowstone County, please do your part to help curb the spread of the virus. The sooner we can get a grip on the pandemic, the sooner we can get back to normal.