DUNCAN (KFDX/KJTL) — The annual Duncan Christmas parade that was slated for Saturday, December 5 at 3:00 p.m. in downtown Duncan has been canceled.
Due to the on-going pandemic and rise in cases, the traditional parade has been canceled. The Main Street Duncan Board and staff received many, concerning calls, messages, and emails regarding the safety of the parade, CDC guidelines, and public safety. After much consultation, the Board made the difficult decision but with support from some in the community, according to a press release.
A statement from CEO of Duncan Regional Hospital, Jay Johnson, along with Medical Director Michael Hemphill, MD and James McGouran, MD said: “On behalf of the medical staff and team members at DRH Health, we support the Main Street Duncan board’s decision to cancel this year’s Christmas parade. Every time any one of us decide to not be in contact with others is another reduction in exposure to the COVID-19 virus. These decisions are difficult as we all want to be with our friends and family during the holidays and especially Christmas. However, the virus doesn’t discriminate and a decision like this will save lives. Just today Duncan Regional Hospital is at the highest COVID-19 census of the pandemic.”
The decision was posted this morning. As an alternative to the traditional parade, a photo submission via Facebook on the Main Street Duncan page will be offered. A cash prize and award will be given to the ‘People’s Choice”.
“On behalf of the Duncan Main Street Board of Directors, if with heavy heart that we have decided to cancel the traditional Main Street Christmas Parade. It was a decision that was made in the best interest of our citizens and community guests,” said Nate Schacht, President of Main Street Duncan, “ and as an alternative to the traditional parade, we will be accepting photos from those that were going to enter the parade with floats and/or vehicles and these photos will be showcased on our Facebook page. We will still judge the entries and will also add a “People’s Choice” category where we invite citizens to vote by using the “like” button on the photos submitted.”
Schacht said: “Also, for those that would like to showcase their floats and/or vehicles for the public view we will allow parking within the downtown district. We encourage social distancing and the use of masks while viewing the hard work that has gone into making the float and/or preparing the vehicle for the show. As with all Main Street Duncan events, our mission is to raise consumer awareness of the great businesses that exist in the Heart of Duncan. It is important that we show continued support to the locally owned businesses in our community – shopping local helps keep our economy strong and our great family-owned stores open for years to come!”
Regardless, the downtown merchants will still open their doors for customers this weekend. Many stores, boutiques, and eateries are offering deals of the day, gift with purchase, and rolling out new merchandise. As always, Veterans and Active Duty military receive discounts in most stores downtown so shopping local is encouraged this holiday season.