Decision Made to Cancel 2020 Christmas Parade of Lights
On Monday, November 23, the planning committee discussed the 19th Annual Dodge City Christmas Parade of Lights, scheduled for Monday evening, November 30. The committee grappled with the decision but ultimately decided to cancel the parade.
The committee noted multiple reasons that made it difficult to continue, including not finding enough parade floats and entries. Many of the local businesses and organizations who generously participate in the parade are dealing with the unfortunate effects of an ongoing pandemic. The additional strain on budgets, staff and or resources made it difficult for them to commit to a parade entry.
“When preparation for the 2020 event began, the parade committee recognized cancellation was a possibility due to obstacles related to COVID19, but we moved forward with the planning process knowing the parade is a cherished holiday tradition and we were passionate about hosting an event to bring joy to our community,” said Jerri Whitley, Victory Electric. “We know the committee’s decision to cancel the parade will not be welcomed by all, and we share in that disappointment, but we hope people will still find it in their hearts to participate in our other activities like the virtual Mayors Tree Lighting Ceremony and Giveaway, Letters to Santa, and the Christmas Cheer service project.”
Prior to cancellation, the committee was excited to introduce an all-new parade format to the community. In an effort to create a safe, fun environment for all, parade organizers had redesigned the traditional parade into a “reverse” parade format. This unique one-of-a-kind “reverse” parade does not mean it goes backward. It means the floats and displays will be stationary and spaced apart, and those spectators wishing for a dose of seasonal merriment would drive-through on the designated route in Wright Park and admire the floats and displays from the warmth, comfort and safety of their vehicles. The new parade format would have allowed for social distancing between parade entries and no direct contact with spectators. The parade is traditionally held in conjunction with a chili-cook-off, but when starting to plan for the 2020 festivities, event organizers chose to cancel the chili cook-off this year for safety reasons.
For more information or questions about the parade of lights or other Christmas activities in Dodge City, visit the Christmas in Dodge City Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The planning committee for the 2020 Dodge City Christmas Parade of Lights event and other Christmas activities is made up of representatives from Victory Electric Cooperative, City of Dodge City, Dodge City Daily Globe, Southwind Broadcasting, Main Street Dodge City, Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce.
With the merriest of attire and best singing voices, it is common during the Christmas season to find various groups making joyful noise and spreading Christmas cheer at local nursing homes as they stroll the hallways caroling for the residents, stopping to chat, and sharing joy. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, nursing homes and long-term care facilities implemented strict visitor restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 amongst our most cherished loved ones and family members.
“It is the committee’s sincere hope to make this year’s Christmas memorable for all, including those struggling from the changes brought on by COVID-19,” said Jerri Whitley, Victory Electric. “We recognize the physical separation and isolation from family and other loved ones have taken a significant toll on residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In the spirit of holiday giving and through the Christmas Cheer Project, we wanted to give our community the opportunity to make a difference and add a little holiday joy to the lives of those cherished residents.”
The community is invited to bring cheer and raise the spirits of residents in our local nursing homes and long-term care facilities by:
- Write a personal letter or note is a touching way to communicate with the elderly. They will be surprised by a physical copy of a personal, hand-written letter or a personal note in a Christmas card.
- Donate an ornament, wreath, artwork or small Christmas décor item.
- Decorate a door hanger to add festive cheer to hallways. A template is available to download.
- Have the kids paint or color something special like a Christmas card or wall hanging.
- A template for a door hanger, aimed at adding festive cheer to the hallways of the nursing homes, is available to download and decorate.
- Puzzles, cozy slippers or other holiday comfort items. No food items, please.
- To ensure the health and safety of all, if donating an item that is not handmade, it is respectfully requested the item be new and in original packaging.
Donated items can be dropped off at Victory Electric’s office at 3230 N. 14th Avenue, or there is a drop box for smaller items such as cards and ornaments located at the Dodge City Visitor Information Center at 400 W. Wyatt Earp Boulevard. All items must be dropped off by WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16.
Note: No one wants to take the chance of delivering germs with donated items. Studies suggest the virus only survives for a few hours on packages but can live on some surfaces for up to three days (like plastic bags or containers). Donated items will be kept by parade organizers for a couple of days before delivery, but it is highly suggested to wash your hands any time before handling the envelopes and/or by cleaning any items if possible.
Please contact the parade committee at email@example.com or call 620-371-7730 with any questions.
Main Street Dodge City is accepting letters to the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus. For kiddos who can write, encourage them to handwrite their letter and be creative by adding artwork and drawings to their letter. Kids who can’t write yet can dictate to parents and spend a little time decorating the letter with stickers or a drawing. A fun, colorful template is available to download. NOTE: Please keep letters to one page and be sure to include the kid’s first name.
Letters to Santa should be placed in the drop box located at the Dodge City Visitor Information Center at 400 W. Wyatt Earp Boulevard. All letters must be in the drop box by WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16.
The lighting of the Mayors Christmas tree is the official signal the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday in Dodge City has officially begun. Spectators are invited to watch the virtual tree lighting ceremony live starting at 5:40 p.m. on the Christmas in Dodge City Facebook page.
In addition, the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Dodge City are hosting their annual Christmas prize giveaway in conjunction with the tree lighting ceremony.
Up for grabs this year in the first drawing is an 8-foot Christmas stocking filled with toys for individuals age 12 and under, and the second drawing for those age 13 and older is $500 in Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce Bucks.
The lucky two winners of the drawings will be announced at the Mayor’s Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Since the event is virtual, participants do NOT need to be present to win and will be will be contacted the following day at the phone number provided upon registration.
To be eligible to win one of the two great prize drawings, registration is online starting November 28 at noon through November 30 at 4 p.m. Individuals can also register in-person on November 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dodge City Visitor Information Center (400 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd).