GLASGOW – The Glasgow Christmas parade has been canceled because of the surge in coronavirus cases.
Ernie Myers, executive vice president of the parade sponsor Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber’s board of directors met with the parade committee and decided it would be irresponsible to hold the parade amid the escalating number of coronavirus cases.
“We are at an emergency situation, and we feel like the Christmas parade is probably the least important event that we could do right now, so we’re simply canceling it for 2020,” Myers said. “We hope in 2021 to bring it back as big and pretty as ever, because it always is a pretty parade.”
Myers said T.J. Samson Community Hospital, which has a high number of COVID-19 patients, asked the chamber to cancel the parade.
“We are definitely busy. There is no doubt about that. We are busy because we have a lot of COVID patients. We have a higher than average census throughout the hospital right now, and we have some very, very sick patients who require a lot of very high-level care,” she said. “From a public health perspective, as much as we love and enjoy the Christmas parade in our community, it just makes the most sense to let that go this year. We were definitely proponents of canceling the parade this year,” said Stacey Biggs, executive vice president of marketing for T.J. Regional Health.
When there is a community event, a holiday or gathering-type of event, Biggs said, there is a spike in coronavirus cases within 10 days.
“Of course, the spikes in the last few weeks have been the biggest spikes we’ve seen to date,” Biggs said.
When taking into consideration things that can be done to protect the hospital staff, as well as the community, she said canceling the Christmas parade is “just the right thing to do.”
There were nearly 70 entries for the Christmas parade when the decision was made to cancel it.
The chamber is contacting individuals and organizations who paid the parade entry fee, asking them if they want their checks returned or destroyed.
The chamber is also returning money paid by those who wished to sponsor awards for winning parade entries, Myers said.
Entertain Glasgow, a city of Glasgow committee that puts on community events, is working on an event that can be held in place of the Christmas parade.
“We are fine with whatever they are going to do in a safe manner,” Myers said.
Katie Hawks, co-chair of Entertain Glasgow, said the committee is trying to come up with something that would be “extremely COVID friendly” and will make an announcement when the committee decides what it will do.