The coronavirus pandemic may become more of a Grinch than the Grinch himself this holiday season as yet another long-running Christmas celebration tradition has been sidelined…this time in Dowagiac.
Dowagiac’s 30th annual Candle-light Christmas Parade, which was planned to be held as a reverse parade on Friday, December 4th, at Southwestern Michigan College, has been cancelled.
While the event was going to be staged as a reverse parade, with spectators driving past the lighted units within the safety of their own vehicles, new mandates issued Sunday by the State of Michigan do not enable the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce to meet new requirements for social distancing.
Kris Soenen a member of the Parade Committee and owner of Who Knew? Consignment, tells us, “Committee members on Monday reassessed the parade’s needs for staging the event, as well as the number of people, including volunteers, security, traffic control and parade unit participants, that would be onsite that night.” She adds, “As a result, it was determined there is not enough space within the college’s Cherry Grove parking lot to adhere to the mandate.”
Corporate sponsors and parade units were notified of the decision Tuesday afternoon.
Due to the pandemic, this is the sixth event the organization has had to cancel, as Soenen says, “The health and safety of the public, our business community and volunteers have been paramount, as we have made these decisions.”